Major supermarket chain pulls ads from Polish state broadcaster over its appalling homophobia

Carrefour, Poland

The French retail giant Carrefour has withdrawn its new advertising campaign from the website of the Polish state TV channel after it broadcast messages of homophobic hate.

Telewizja Polska (TVP) reportedly gives disproportionate airtime to Poland’s ruling party PiS, which uses the channel to support the government’s anti-LGBT+ narrative.

The broadcaster is notorious for its extreme right-wing bias and recently produced one particularly appalling anti-LGBT+ documentary, Invasion, which was so homophobic it was banned by Polish courts.

All this was highlighted by a French Twitter user, who drew Carrefour’s attention to one of their advertisements being displayed next to offensive news stories. One was headed by a quote from a Polish archbishop who warned of a “rainbow plague”.

The user pointedly asked the company if it was aware the TV station was using their advertising revenue to “finance the most disgusting anti-LGBT hatred.”

Carrefour quickly took action, sending back the reply: “This content does not reflect our values. Following your report, we have stopped the current campaign.”

The Polish branch of Carrefour also released a statement. “Both the position of Carrefour Polska and Carrefour Group in France are convergent,” it confirmed.

“We made the decision not to post our ads on content that does not reflect the values of tolerance, respect for other people, or respect for diversity. Carrefour Polska is a company that adheres to the highest standards in respect of the diversity of its customers, employees, and business partners.”

While the move is unlikely to impact the wave of homophobic hatred sweeping across Poland, it’s a sign that the country’s increasing anti-LGBT+ sentiment is starting to meet international resistance.

Several Polish “LGBT-free” regions have already been denied EU funding, and it’s possible their continued existence could threaten Poland’s EU status after the European Commission unveiled its  first ever LGBT+ strategy.

It includes plans to extend the list of EU crimes to cover homophobic hate speech, ensure that LGBT+ concerns are better reflected in policy-making, and propose new laws to guarantee same-sex parenthood will be recognised across the 27 member nations.