Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro gleefully promoted The Home Depot in a series of videos posted this week by showing off a wooden board he purchased, as the Atlanta-based home improvement giant comes under fire for having avoided commenting on a controversial Georgia election law.
The voting bill was signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp last month. The law has been widely condemned for adding restrictions to the voting process in the state. Among its much-criticized provisions is a misdemeanor charge against people handing out food and water to voters waiting in lines at the polls.
Atlanta-based companies such as Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines have criticized the law. Will Smith’s upcoming film Emancipation pulled its production from Georgia, and Major League Baseball announced it would no longer hold its 2021 All-Star Game in Atlanta.
Home Depot expressed its support for voter access, but fell short of taking a stance on Georgia’s controversial legislation.
“We believe that all elections should be accessible, fair and secure and support broad voter participation,” a Home Depot spokesman said in a statement to Newsweek on Wednesday. “We’ll continue to work to ensure our associates, both in Georgia and across the country, have the information and resources to vote.”
Amid calls to boycott Home Depot, Shapiro posted a series of videos on his Instagram story urging his followers to shop at the retailer, which he lauded for “not getting involved in Georgia’s voter law controversy.”
“Home Depot is doing exactly the right thing because, after all, they are, in fact, Home Depot,” Shapiro said from a Home Depot parking lot. “They are not, in fact, in the business of politics. Because you should be buying from companies that are not following the ‘Woke Left.'”
He continued: “So here’s what we’re doing and I encourage you to do the same: I’m gonna go in there, I’m gonna buy some stuff, and then I’m gonna leave.”
Shapiro’s announcement was followed with a series of vintage images of Home Depot and people shopping in it. The series then returned to The Daily Wire founder, outside the store, brandishing a piece of wood half-covered in a Home Depot plastic bag in one hand, and what appears to be a receipt in the other.
“Alright as you can see, I just went shopping at Home Depot, you should do the same,” Shapiro said. “This wood, this board, this magnificent piece of poplar, is now mine.”
Shapiro’s decision to purchase and sing the praises of a wooden plank was met with derision and memes on Twitter.
In an op-ed published by Fox News on Wednesday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp defended the law and branded the criticism as “disingenuous and completely false.”
“In their blatant assault on local election systems across the country, Democrats and the mainstream media are spreading lies and misinformation about Georgia’s Election Integrity Act that I recently signed into law,” wrote Kemp.
He continued: “As governor, I refuse to back down from this fight, because the integrity of our elections is the foundation of who we are as Georgians and Americans. In Georgia, we will always protect the sanctity of the ballot box and keep working to restore complete confidence in our democracy.”