It's amazing how fast reputations can rise and fall, thanks to the Internet. Within the gay and lesbian community, Rockstar Energy Drinks recently went from off the radar to pariah to best friend, all within a couple of months.
It started when a guest blogger on the LGBTQ site Bilerico called for a boycott of Rockstar because CEO Russell Weiner is the son of Michael Savage, a far-right radio commentator who has made extremely vicious comments against gay and trans people.
Rockstar's initial reaction was to threaten a lawsuit. Savage was not a co-founder of Rockstar, as the article claimed, nor did Savage directly profit from company sales, and because of these inaccuracies, Rockstar lawyers said, Bilerico and other sites should take down the post completely.
In the following weeks, however, Rockstar completely changed its strategy for dealing with the bad publicity. The company not only dropped the lawsuits, but it also agreed to donate $100,000 to GLBT organizations and improve its corporate policies regarding gay, lesbian and trans employees. "We hope that these actions clear up any misunderstanding or misconceptions about Rockstar's support of the LGBT population," Weiner said.
Furthermore, Savage's wife, Janet Weiner -- who is CFO of Rockstar -- quit her job at Savage Productions to make the separation even clearer.
Those on Savage's side are helping with the disavowal -- the Michael Savage Facebook fan page now clarifies that it is in no way affiliated with Rockstar Energy Drink. There are no hard feelings though, it seems -- the disclaimer goes on to pronounce the drink, "the world's most POWERFUL energy drink!"