Ikea Removes Lesbian Couple From Russian Catalog

How It Works
Nov. 25 2013 2:22 PM

Ikea Removes Lesbian Couple From Russian Catalog

51397679
Russians visit the first Swedish Ikea superstore in a northern Moscow suburb on March 22, 2000.

Photo by Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images

The Guardian’s Shaun Walker reports on furniture giant Ikea censoring a British lesbian couple out of the Russian edition of its magazine:

The December issue of the magazine, which will be distributed in most countries in which Ikea operates, contains a long feature about the lives of Clara and Kirsty, a Dorset-based lesbian couple and their Ikea-filled interiors. "We're two mums bringing up our baby boy in Clara's loft," says Kirsty in the story. "We're not your average family in your average home, but if my nan can raise two sons in a tiny caravan, we can make it work in our little loft."
Russian Ikea shoppers, however, will be shielded from information about the lives of the two British lesbians, in case it is deemed to fall foul of the country's controversial new law banning "homosexual propaganda".
Advertisement

The case is reminiscent of one last year in which Ikea airbrushed nearly all the women out of the Saudi Arabian version of its catalog.

It’s one of the first cases I’ve seen of an international company complying with the recently passed Russian law. It might not be reasonable to expect a furniture company to behave like human rights activists—particularly not this furniture company—but at the very least, the fact that Ikea seems to have pre-emptively censored a feature that may not have even been sanctioned under Russia's vaguely worded law should negate whatever progressive credibility the company hoped to gain by featuring this family in itscatalog in the first place.

All in all, it’s been a week of bad press for Ikea, which also stands accused in France of spying on customers and former employees. 

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs and writes the World blog. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

Hidden Messages in Corporate Logos

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

How Can We Investigate Potential Dangers of Fracking Without Being Alarmist?

My Year as an Abortion Doula       

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 15 2014 8:56 PM The Benghazi Whistleblower Who Might Have Revealed a Massive Scandal on his Poetry Blog
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 15 2014 4:38 PM What Is Straight Ice Cream?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 1:51 PM Why Not Just Turn Campus Rape Allegations Over to the Police? Because the Police Don't Investigate.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 15 2014 8:58 PM Lorde Does an Excellent Cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 15 2014 4:49 PM Cheetah Robot Is Now Wireless and Gallivanting on MIT’s Campus
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 15 2014 11:00 AM The Comet and the Cosmic Beehive
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 8:41 PM You’re Cut, Adrian Peterson Why fantasy football owners should release the Minnesota Vikings star.