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- IKEA is attempting to distance itself from the fallout of the decision by Swedish authorities to detain and prosecute American rapper A$AP Rocky in Stockholm on assault charges.
- Some Twitter users are using "#BoycottSweden" to suggest pressuring Sweden by not buying from its companies.
- A spokesman for the store told Business Insider that Ikea is "aware of the boycott Sweden trends on social media." It declined to comment further on a police matter.
- Although IKEA is famous for having been founded in Sweden, it has actually been owned by a Dutch company since 2012.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
IKEA is trying to distance itself from being caught up in highly politicised prosecution of rap star A$AP Rocky by prosecutors in Sweden.
The company is subject to a small but noticeable online movement advocating for fans to boycott the furniture store to put pressure on Sweden over its detention of Rocky, who has been in jail since July 3.
An IKEA spokesperson told Business Insider on Friday that IKEA is "aware of the boycott Sweden trends on social media following the imprisonment of A$AP Rocky."
But they declined to comment further. The spokesperson continued: "As this is currently a police investigation, it is a matter for the Swedish authorities."
Rocky was arrested three days after being involved in a fight in Stockholm, and has been in Swedish custody since.
On Thursday he was formally charged with assault causing actual bodily harm, a move that angered Rocky’s supporters.
His most prominent advocate is US President Donald Trump, who tried to lobby Sweden’s government to secure Rocky’s release, but has had his attempts rejected.
Both "#BoycottSweden" and "#BoycottIKEA" have been used on Twitter by people who are angry at Rocky’s detention.
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However, although IKEA was founded in Sweden and is widely considered a Swedish brand, the boycott advocates may struggle to put pressure on Sweden by targetting it. IKEA has actually been owned by a Dutch company since 2012.
Some people tweeting about a boycott appear to be doing so in support of US President Donald Trump’s efforts to free Rocky…
… while other are accusing Sweden of racism in their treatment of Rocky…
… and some are simply calling for a boycott without further explanation.
Some other American rappers, including Tyler, the Creator and Schoolboy Q, have said they would not perform in Sweden because of Rocky’s treatment.
Trump has ended up at the centre of Rocky’s case after pledging to intervene after being lobbied by Kanye West.
He spoke with Stefan Löfven, Sweden’s and "offered to personally vouch" for Rocky’s bail, even though Sweden’s justice system does have a US-style bail system.
A spokesperson for Löfven said the prime minister shut down the idea that Trump could change anything.
The spokesperson said that Löfven told Trump: "in Sweden everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings."
Zach Gibson – Pool/Getty Images/Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Trump has continued to express anger on Twitter, saying again on Thursday night that Rocky should be released.
Sweden has also faced allegations of racism in its handling of Rocky’s case.
Rocky’s mother, Renee Black, told TMZ on Monday that she believes her son is a victim of racism."I don’t want to call the race card," she said, "but that’s what it’s looking like."
G-Eazy, a white American rapper, said that Rocky’s case showed "systemic racism." He was arrested in Sweden last year for assault, possession of drugs and use of narcotics, and was released after a day and a half after being given a $10,000 fine.
Daniel Suneson, the Swedish proscutor in Rocky’s case, said that G-Easy’s situation was a "totally different case" and that G-Eazy admitted "most of the things he was accused of."
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella/TMZ
"I can see why that case only took a couple of days… you can’t compare them," he said,the BBC reported.
Suneson told INSIDER on Thursday that the maximum punishment for Rocky’s charge is two years imprisonment and a fine, but that Rocky would likely receive a lesser punishment if convicted.
A trial date has not yet been announced.
Löfven’s press secretary Mikael Lindström told INSIDER’S John Haltiwanger on Friday: "All I can say at this point, is that Sweden and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven have explained and emphasised the complete independence of the Swedish judicial system, prosecutors and courts."
"In Sweden everyone is equal before the law. The Government is not allowed, and will not attempt, to influence the legal proceedings, which are now ongoing."
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