- People are boycotting Publix after heiress Julie Jenkins Fancelli was unmasked as a top donor to the January 6 Trump rally.
- Fancelli is not a Publix employee but is set to inherit from the $8.8 billion founding family’s fortune.
- Fancelli contributed most of the roughly $500,000 total raised for the “Stop the Steal” rally, the WSJ reported.
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People are calling for a boycott of Publix after the Wall Street Journal unmasked an heiress to the Southern grocery empire as the top donor to the Trump rally that led to the Capitol riots on January 6.
Julie Jenkins Fancelli, an heiress to the Publix founding family’s nearly $9 billion fortune, has previously donated millions to Republican causes and candidates. On January 30, the WSJ reported Fancelli as having contributed $300,000 out of the roughly $500,000 total raised for Trump’s now-infamous “Stop the Steal” rally.
Publix has a dedicated fanbase, but Fancelli’s contribution to the rally was the last straw for many loyal customers, The Guardian reported Monday. On Monday, the hashtag #BoycottPublix was trending on Twitter, with many users expressing outrage and claiming betrayal over Fancelli’s donation.
—Bob south florida water man (@WaterDean) February 15, 2021
—Jordan Knash 🌊🌊🌊⚖️#ShutItDown (@JordanKnash) February 15, 2021
—Neri Beats (@NeriBeats) February 15, 2021
Fancelli’s donation was facilitated by far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who himself donated $50,000 to the rally that led to the deaths of five people, the Journal reported.
After the riots, corporations raced to cut ties with former president Trump and to end donations to political candidates that supported Trump’s attempt to overturn the election.
After the publication of the WSJ article, Publix rapidly distanced itself from Fancelli in a Twitter statement, and said it did not employ her.
—Publix (@Publix) January 31, 2021
Fancelli is still president of the George Jenkins Foundation, Inc., Publix founder George Jenkins’s charity, which is not affiliated with the grocery chain. Since posting the statement on January 30, the Publix Twitter account — which previously posted around once a day — has been uncharacteristically silent.
This isn’t the first time Publix has courted controversy over its political donations. It came under fire after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis awarded the chain an exclusive vaccine distribution contract. This followed the Publix PAC donating $100,000 donation to his campaign — a spokeswoman for DeSantis said any implication that the contract was a reward for the donation was “baseless and ridiculous,” per the Lakeland Ledger.
Leaders from predominantly Black communities throughout the state also criticized the contract, saying it deprived many Black Floridians of the chance to get vaccinated.