WASHINGTON, July 27 — US fans of rapper A$AP Rocky have issued a call to arms, including meatball moratoriums and an end to binges at Ikea, in protest at Swedish moves to put him on trial for assault.
With Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven rebuffing President Donald Trump’s entreaties to intervene in the case, Americans took to Twitter to call for boycotts of the country and its global commercial icons—first and foremost the do-it-yourself home furnishing mart Ikea.
Many appeared inspired by a Trump tweet Thursday that declared: “We do so much for Sweden but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around.”
That sparked a rash of retweets with the #boycottsweden hashtag, singling out Swedish brands from Absolut Vodka and Volvo to Spotify.
“I think @realDonaldTrump you need to encourage folks to boycott #ikea until A$AP Rocky is freed. Though having said that I am sure if Rocky’s jail cell is anything like my bookcase he could bust out #A$AP. #boycottikea #boycottsweden,” tweeted triathlon coach John Bryan.
“Obviously from video #ASAPRocky was attacked & was defending himself, & should not have been arrested at all.... #boycottSweden.” tweeted @Jeaniepittman71.
On Thursday a Swedish court ordered Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, put on trial for assault after his arrest for a July 3 brawl.
One video of the incident suggests that Rocky, 30, and his bodyguards were harassed by two local men for some time before fighting erupted, and the rapper said it was self-defense.
That has stoked a outpouring of anger from fans, but also the occasional pithy comment from wags wondering if Rocky might have to assemble his own furniture in his Swedish cell.
“Asap Rocky wasn’t arrested he just got lost In Ikea,” tweeted @dxsregard.
“All Rocky need to do to get out is find the ikea instructions,” wrote @buckestcowboy.
Others called him lucky to have the chance to eat Ikea’s famous meatballs.
“Asap rocky is prolly okay. they got Ikea furniture in those jail suites... im sure they got swedish meatballs and swedish fish up in the joint there too,” said @coolboy3000_net.
Sweden wasn’t immediately facing any significant economic fallout from the calls for boycotts, however. None of those urging a moratorium on Swedish goods had substantial followings or were major public figures.
And as popular as it is, most people who shop at Ikea go only once in several months.
But the pressure could grow, if Twitter is any indication.
Another hashtag on heavy rotation was #JustSayNoToPickledHerring.
And @Hey_Flike responded to the president’s tweet Thursday by posting: “I hear that Trump is, very strongly, contemplating a forceful lingonberry tariff.” — AFP