Hornby U-turn on decision not to donate profits from Pride model to charity after backlash from LGBTQ+ community

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HORNBY has performed a U-turn on their decision not to donate profits from their Pride inspired train carriage after receiving backlash from the LGBTQ+ community.

The renowned model railway was accused of “rainbow capitalism” this week by the community – a term referring to companies that try to profit from Pride month.

The response came after Hornby released the Hornby LGBT Pride Wagon on Tuesday for £18 but announced that they were planning to keep the profits.

The British model company said the train showed their “commitment to the LGBTQ+ community” and encouraged awareness.

The Hornby LGBT wagon promotional image - Consumer News UK
The promotional image the Hornby twitter account posted of LGBTQ+ wagon (C) Hornby

However, members of the diversity group hit out at the company for not donating their profits to LGBTQ+ charities.

Hornby yesterday apologised and said they will donate all proceeds to charity after agreeing that “waving the flag is not enough”.

The model train company had revealed their new Pride train carriage on Tuesday on Twitter, writing: “Celebrate #PrideMonth with our new #Pride Van!

“Not only will this #Van provide a great splash of colour to any layout but it supports the #LGBTQ+ Community, alongside other models in our 2021 range.

“Be inclusive with this web exclusive!”

Following questions over where the money would go, Hornby issued an update, writing:
“Please be advised we’re not donating any money at present but we’ll be keeping this in mind for the future.

A close-up shot of the Hornby LGBTQ+ wagon - Consumer News UK
The Hornby LGBTQ+ wagon, twitter users claim the term ‘love is love’ is exclusionary of trans people (C) Hornby

“We wanted to show our commitment to the LGBTQ+ Community with this model alongside our existing Pride models & hope that it’ll be a benefit & encourage awareness. Thank you.”

Hundreds of furious social media users weighed into the post, with some branding the company “disgusting”.

@xMayh3mx said: “You want to profit from a month about supporting people for trying to be who they are in the world where they are told their sexuality is wrong.

“And then choosing not to support them by not donating any of said product that promotes the month to any related charities.

“Disgusting.”

@chub_city_ wrote: “Rainbow capitalism at it’s finest.

“They are raking in the profits all for themselves. They decided to profit off of the struggles of an oppressed group of people.

“Not a single penny to any charity. You lot should be ashamed of yourselves.”

@jennycodes added: “I think you missed the point, to support the LGBTQ+ community, not monopolise off it.

“I’m sad to say many of us saw this coming, but I’m sad it’s come from you (as a model lover).

“Please make profits from this go to LGBTQ+ charities to put this right.”

Last night Hornby posted an apology on Twitter and backtracked on their decision.

The listing for the Hornby LGBTQ+ wagon on their site - Consumer News UK
The LGBTQ+ wagon as listed on Hornby’s site, it costs £18 and the proceeds were not originally planned to go to LGBTQ+ charities (C) Hornby

They said: “Following the launch of the Hornby LGBTQ+ Pride Wagon on Tuesday, we would like to say sorry!

“We have got this wrong and deeply apologise – waving the flag is not enough.

“We must promote the LGBTQ+ Community by donating the proceeds.

“So we now turn to you and ask where best within the community the proceeds should be donated.

“Again we apologise to everyone who was offended – this was of course never our intention and for that we are sorry.

“Please do share your suggestions regarding where you think the proceeds should go by emailing [email protected] Thank you.”

A spokeswoman for Hornby today said: “We introduced the Hornby Pride Wagon with only good intentions – to show our commitment to the community.

“We soon realised that it wasn’t being received in this way hence us taking action.

“In the hobby we work in we produce model railway products to provide enjoyment and happiness and the whole situation since announcing the model went against that.

“It was not nice seeing such an influx of negative comments but we have watched, listened and learnt.

“We have since reached out to customers asking for their view on who they think a donation should be made to.

“These suggestions can be emailed to [email protected]

Hornby's tweet promoting the Captain Tom Moore train - Consumer News UK
A tweet promoting the Captain Tom Moore train from Hornby, they donated £40,000 to an NHS charity (C) Twitter

The company has previously listed promotional trains with proceeds going to represented charities.

In April 2020 they made a Captain Tom Moore and NHS Class 66 model, donating £40,000 to the NHS charities together.