Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has made a brand for himself, spreading his influence — and cash — across worlds as diverse as real estate, television, Twitter and fashion. Now, however, his controversial political comments may be starting to catch up with him: an online petition is trying to get the Donald J. Trump Signature Collection of shirts, ties and mens’ fragrance dropped by the department store Macy’s.
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Angered by Trump’s relentless birther conspiracy theories and neverending rants on Twitter, Angelo Carusone started a petition at signon.org to get Macy’s to fire Trumph; so far it as attracted more than 615,000 signatures. (The last straw, Carusone told Politico, was Trump’s offer of a $5 million donation to charity if Obama would release his college transcripts and passport application.) It has gained moderate steam until the past week, when signers have jumped up by about 50,000 each day.
On its website, Macy’s touts its commitment to “social responsibility,” noting it has a “belief that actions speak louder than words when it comes to helping tackle some of the toughest problems facing us today.” Carusone,who works as an online strategy director for progressive media watchdog Media Matters, uses the store’s own words against it in his petition, urging Macy’s to “dump Trump” over the reality TV star’s “especially unpleasant, nasty and despicable behavior.” He also cites what he sees as Trump’s “sexist” behavior and hypocrisy when it comes to American jobs (Trump has readily admitted his clothing is made in China and other Asian countries).
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But Macy’s isn’t budging. CEO Terry Lundgren issued a statement on Wednesday and, in an emailed reply to Carusone, underscored Trump’s right to express his own beliefs. ”Many of the individuals associated with products sold at Macy’s — or at any retailer, for that matter — express personal opinions that are not related to the merchandise we sell or to the philosophies of our company. That is the nature of a free society,” Lundgren wrote.
But it’s unlikely that Carusone will back down. He’s no stranger to pressuring companies to quit controversial figures. He’s reportedly the guy behind the petition to get Glenn Beck removed from the Fox News airwaves. The two-year “Stop Beck” campaign revolved primarily around tweeting at Beck’s advertisers to get them to stop placing their ads on the show; Carusone declared victory in 2011, when Beck announced the end of his Fox News program.