Keurig CEO Backs Down in Response to Sean Hannity Boycott: 'This Is an Unacceptable Situation'
After #BoycottKeurig started trending on Twitter over the weekend, the coffee machine company’s CEO Bob Gamgort has expressed regret in an email to employees obtained by The Washington Post.
In case you’re not up to speed, the company announced in a tweet on Saturday that they were halting advertising on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show following the anchor’s controversial comments about Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who is facing allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls, one as young as 14.
This sparked a right-wing backlash, with Hannity’s fans calling for a boycott of the company — and taking to Twitter to post videos of themselves smashing their Keurig machines with hammers and throwing them off of balconies.
In Gambgort’s email to his employees, he called the decision to pause advertising among controversy “business as usual,” but condemned how his company handled the announcement.
“The decision to publicly communicate our programming decision via our Twitter account was highly unusual,” he wrote. “This gave the appearance of ‘taking sides’ in an emotionally charged debate that escalated on Twitter and beyond over the weekend, which was not our intent.” Gambgort also noted that Hannity “later apologized for his comments in his own tweet,” claiming he “misspoke.”
He added that the announcement was made “outside of company protocols” and called it “an unacceptable situation that requires an overhaul of our issues response and external communications policies and the introduction of safeguards to ensure this never happens again.”
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While some conservatives on Twitter have hailed the apology as a victory, others who have condemned Moore’s alleged actions felt it was an unnecessary concession. “You don’t have to apologize for ‘taking sides’ when one side is pro-pedophilia,” Full Frontal host Samantha Bee tweeted.
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Others have also joked about the effectiveness of the boycott, pointing out that these people have already bought the machine.
It also reached meme status in at least one office building on Monday morning.
Other companies who pulled support from Hannity include Realtor.com and fashion brand Eloquii—though neither have received the same amount of social media attention as Keurig.
UPDATE: A previous version of this article claimed Hannity called for a boycott of the company, when actually it was his viewers who initiated the boycott. Hannity has since responded to Gambgort: “I accept the apology of the Keurig CEO,” Hannity said. “Frankly, I think they were victims of they group they knew nothing about. … I feel sorry that they were dragged into politics.”