Following the deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school, protesters have called on businesses to drop their partnerships with the National Rifle Association. As various companies respond to public outcry, one business is explaining why they are not caving to the calls.
Protesters have waged a social media campaign to pressure businesses and corporations into cutting ties with the Second Amendment advocacy group. Since then, companies like Enterprise, LifeLock, Norton, First Bank of Omaha, Metlife and, more recently, Delta and United Airlines, have ended their various contracts with the group.
Earlier in the week, the video streaming company Roku released a statement explaining why they have no intention of dropping NRA TV from their platform anytime soon. It explains, in part, (emphasis ours):
Our streaming platform allows our customers to choose from thousands of entertainment, news and special interest channels, representing a wide range of topics and viewpoints. Customers choose and control which channels they download or watch, and parents can set a pin to prevent channels from being downloaded. While the vast majority of all streaming on our platform is mainstream entertainment, voices on all sides of an issue or cause are free to operate a channel. We do not curate or censor based on viewpoint. We are not promoting or being paid to distribute NRA TV. We do not and have not ever had a commercial relationship with the NRA. Their channel is free to consumers with no ads. We welcome Moms Demand Action and other important groups to use our platform to share their messages too.
“While open to many voices, we have policies that prohibit the publication of content that is unlawful, incites illegal activities or violates third-party rights, among other things,” the statement added, before explaining that channels are removed if they are in violation of Roku’s policies. It was to the company’s understanding that the NRA remained compliant with these policies.
According to CBS, Roku spokesperson Tricia Misfud similarly explained in an email that her company does not and has not ever had “a commercial relationship with the NRA.” She added, “We too want to see an end to these terrible tragedies.”
Following the exodus of corporate partners, the NRA released a statement defending their “law-abiding members” from what they suggested was a form of punishment.
“Let it be absolutely clear,” the statement said. “The loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member from our mission to stand and defend the individual freedoms that have always made America the greatest nation in the world.”