Duck boot purveyor L.L. Bean — where Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to shop in response to boycotts targeting a pro-Trump Bean family member — is now quietly pushing back against the president’s travel ban.
In an internal memo sent to employees on Feb. 2 and obtained by POLITICO, L.L. Bean CEO Stephen Smith offered support to employees who may be affected by Trump’s executive order blocking entry to the U.S. for visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries.
Smith acknowledged the family-owned company’s recent public relations headaches, both as the target of the anti-Trump boycott and the beneficiary of the divisive president’s support on Twitter.
“While we have gone to great pains over the past few weeks to distance ourselves from an unfortunate and unwanted political situation, there have been some more recent developments that have prompted me to share some thoughts and direction,” Smith wrote in the internal email. “Recent national policy changes, while dominating the headlines and sparking a wide-range of opinion, are also creating confusion and concern within our family of great employees.”
“We are committed to help our affected employees in any way possible,” Smith wrote in the internal email, urging anyone “personally grappling” with the implications of the ban to reach out to him directly. The ban was lifted Feb. 3 by a federal judge in Seattle.
Smith wrote that L.L. Bean supports “diversity to create a stronger organization and a better world” and that the company believes in “an inclusive, welcoming work environment.”
An L.L. Bean spokesperson did not respond to a call and email for comment.
The original L.L. Bean boycott, led by the “Grab Your Wallet” campaign, targeted the company after Linda Bean, a company board member and granddaughter of the company’s founder, donated $30,000 to a pro-Trump political action committee.
On Jan. 12, Trump encouraged his backers to oppose the boycott by shopping at the outdoor clothing company, tweeting: “Thank you to Linda Bean of L.L.Bean for your great support and courage. People will support you even more now. Buy L.L.Bean.”
The Grab Your Wallet campaign still lists L.L. Bean on its list of companies with ties to Trump. The grassroots consumer campaign has also targeted Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom announced last week they’ll drop the first daughter’s brand, citing a dip in sales.
L.L. Bean isn’t the only company to weigh in on Trump’s immigration ban—nor is it the company using the strongest language to speak out regarding the policy. Microsoft, Amazon and Expedia have all said they support the federal court suit to stop the order. Starbucks, Nike and other companies also pushed back, saying they do not support the ban.