The Reason Stephen King Is Calling For A Coke Boycott

Boycotts are one of the most effective actions the general public can take when change is needed. In the simplest terms, boycotts can withhold money from organizations or businesses, forcing those with more sway to take action. And for the most part, it works.

For example, when England's Parliament refused to end slavery in the 1790s, citizens responded by boycotting sugar grown and harvested by slaves (per Newsweek). When sugar sales dropped, those in power had no choice but to end slavery and produce sugar by other means.

More recently, human rights organizations have been boycotting Nestle, making it the most boycotted company in the UK due to its "aggressive" marketing of baby formula and "misleading" claims (via Baby Milk Action). In the U.S., groups like the Lakota Law Project push for a Nestle boycott because the company "exploits" freshwater sources and other endangered environments.

With the internet making this sort of information more accessible, celebrities — and their millions of fans — are also able to pull weight when social change is needed. 

How boycotting Coke can help make a difference

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been splashed all over the news and social media for weeks. Thousands of Ukrainian citizens have lost their lives, and a million more have fled their homes. Despite the U.S. and other NATO powers attempting to negotiate with Russia, per the Council on Foreign Relations, the conflict continues.

Although the U.S. has not sent in its own troops — in part due to the fact Ukraine is not a NATO member, says CNN, the American government has sent aid in the form of food, supplies, and funds. 

Some Americans are expressing their dismay by boycotting American products sold in Russia. Best-selling author Stephen King posted to Twitter, "Coca Cola is continuing to sell their products in Russia. #BoycottCoke." His tweet received 28,100 likes so far and has been retweeted 7,781 already. Some fans claim Coke plans to halt sales in Russia, but most news sources say Coke has no such plans. According to the Washington Examiner, #BoycottCocaCola ranked as the top trending hashtag on March 4th. 

Coke isn't the only big company under fire, although originally it was not for the same reason. Social media is calling for a Pepsi boycott, and as the Ukraine/Russia conflict persists, so does #boycottpepsi