Ads from major companies that claim to support LGBTQ rights are appearing on Rumble videos that spread extreme anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, including on videos that spew anti-LGBTQ slurs and on one that alleges that the LGBTQ movement’s “end game is to sterilize humanity.”
Rumble is an extreme right-wing video-sharing platform that is backed by various high-profile right-wing figures and dominated by QAnon content. Marketing itself as a defender of “free speech”, the platform has big ambitions to compete with a range of other tech companies and provide the infrastructure to make figures that have been banned elsewhere “immune” from so-called “cancel culture.” Rumble has also partnered with the Republican National Committee to host the official livestream for the first Republican presidential primary debate on August 23.
The platform technically has a policy against “Content or material that is grossly offensive to the online community, including but not limited to, racism, anti-semitism and hatred” — but it doesn’t mention anything specifically about sexuality- or gender identity-based hate speech, and has previously failed to elaborate on its evidently limited enforcement practices. Rumble also has a documented history of profiting from homophobic, white nationalist, and antisemitic content on its site. In March, Netflix pulled advertisements from the website after Media Matters reported that they were appearing alongside videos espousing Holocaust denial.
This Pride Month, Media Matters identified ads from over 50 major companies that appeared alongside Rumble videos that spread extreme anti-LGBTQ hate. These companies include:
1-800 Flowers, ABC Mouse, Aleve, Alibaba, Allianz, Amazon, Ancestry, Apartments.com, Aussie, Capital One, Chevrolet, Crate&Barrel, CVS, Dave’s Killer Bread, eBay, Fiverr, Fortnite, Genesis, GoDaddy, Grainger, GrubHub, Intel, LG, Maybelline, Mazda, McDonalds, National University, Norton, Office Depot, PBS Kids, PlutoTV, Pods Moving & Storage, Ruggable, Salomon, Shopify, SimpliSafe, Spinbrush, Street Fighter 6, Target, Tempur-pedic, Temu, Toyota, Trint, UNICEF, Uniqlo, UPS, Viator, Welch Allyn, Western Union, and Wyndham.
Despite this, several of these companies, including Capital One, Maybelline, eBay, Uniqlo, UPS, and Amazon, have celebrated Pride Month on social media — seemingly expressing support for the LGBTQ community.
During Pride Month, Rumble profited from ads from major companies that appeared on videos that pushed vile anti-LGBTQ rhetoric
Ads from the companies noted above appeared on the following Rumble videos, enabling the platform to profit from extreme anti-LGBTQ rhetoric during Pride Month. What’s more, each of these videos either came from a “Rumble Exclusives” creator and/or appeared on Rumble’s “Editor Picks” list. Rumble has recruited and sponsored an array of bigoted pundits and conspiracy theorists to produce exclusive content for the platform, and it frequently promotes videos from these and other extreme channels on its running list of “Editor Picks.” This means that the site directly promoted and/or sponsored each of these videos:
- Turning Point USA host Drew Hernandez fearmongered that the LGBTQ movement’s “end game is to sterilize humanity. Depopulate. So that the homosexuals can just abduct children.” He also baselessly claimed that “the economy is not going to be accessible to you if you do not worship homosexuality.”
- In the same video, Hernandez called New York a “pedophile haven” because New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed an executive order to protect access to gender-affirming care. He added, “So come to New York and bring your children and place them on the altar for Lucifer for we can sacrifice your children to them and hack their bodies and drink their blood.”
- Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk celebrated being able to use an anti-trans slur on Rumble, saying, “Since we're on Rumble, we can say t–––––, we can say climate change is vastly overrated. The election, the 2020 election was stolen. … Vaccines probably, the mRNA vaccines probably hurts you. What else? ... Zelensky is a thug. T–––––.”
- Reacting to an article from the Daily Mail about teachers’ efforts to be more inclusive of LGBTQ students, Rumble Exclusives creator Nick Rekieta said, “Let's be honest that homosexuality is statistically and naturally aberrant. … Why are we pretending that it is not non-normative? It's non-normative by statistics. It's non-normative. It's not even close.” He added, “But they need it to be normalized for some reason because, again, these people have a deep-seated obsession with sex and sexuality, so much so that it would override the overwhelmingly compelling human prerogative to not speak to someone else's child about sex. Because, bro, that's fucking gross.”
- In another video, ranting about the right-wing crusade to demonize Bud Light after the company partnered with a trans TikTok influencer, Rekieta used an anti-gay slur, saying, “Why the fuck did you ever think that your shitty, generic, Bud Light, play to the middle beer, could take a niche political stance and shove it down your customers' throats and change their minds? My God, that is like McDonald's telling me how to think. There's other chicken nuggets you f–––––– I can get them anywhere. I don't care about yours."
- On his show Louder with Crowder, host and Rumble Exclusives creator Steven Crowder praised Rumble for allowing him to use an anti-trans slur on the platform. In another video, while airing a TikTok of gay men sharing the year that they came out, Crowder joked, “Why did they film this in front of a firing wall?” and played a sound effect of gunshots.
- On the Rumble Exclusives channel “Redacted News,” billionaire Republican mega-donor and anti-public school crusader Leila Centner fearmongered about drag queen story hour, saying, “This is a war. It's a spiritual war. And unless we work as hard as we can work, to fight back and keep the souls of our children; children, they're going to sexualize them, demonize them, and just continue to beat down their self-esteem and confidence.” Centner went on to explain that at the private schools that she owns, the only way to “keep our children safe” from “the woke insanity that’s happening today” is to ensure that no teacher supports or is aligned with “critical race theory,” “gender confusion,” or “BLM,” which she claimed was “obviously a terrorist organization."
- On The Rubin Report, host and Rumble Exclusives creator Dave Rubin baselessly fearmongered that in California, if a parent doesn’t “affirm” their child’s trans identity, “The state can now come and take your child away from you. Child services can come and now say, ‘Your child is not yours.’ In essence, that you are abusing your child. They will put that child in some sort of state facility or give them to some other group of people who will literally chemically castrate them, force them to undergo drugs and procedures and all of that stuff that is happening in California right now.”