Washington, D.C. – Leading investor activists from the Free Enterprise Project (FEP) presented a shareholder proposal today that took The Walt Disney Company to task over its race-based employee trainings – trainings that FEP says give cover to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its ongoing human rights atrocities.
“Corporate America needs an entire human resources overhaul and there is no better company with which to start than Disney,” said Justin Danhof, Esq., executive vice president of the National Center for Public Policy Research, who presented the proposal at today’s annual meeting of Disney shareholders. “HR departments are largely responsible for the spread of social justice employee programs, including these Critical Race Theory (CRT) trainings that abound across corporate campuses as much as they do on college campuses these days. Disney is at the leading edge of this nonsense.”
Last May, journalist Christopher Rufo first exposed a Disney employee training program containing all the hallmarks of CRT, including the concepts of white oppression, black victimhood and teachings that America is irreparably and systematically racist.
In presenting today’s proposal, Danhof first asked:
Was Whoopi Goldberg required to attend Disney’s so-called antiracism trainings? If so, that may explain a lot about her completely warped views on race, the culture at Disney and the damaging effects of Critical Race Theory generally.
Danhof then explained:
Critical Race Theory debases human existence by reducing it to a singular element that no one can control – skin tone. This absolutely racist teaching focuses on so-called “white privilege” being at the root of everything in society and insists that white people are ALWAYS the oppressor, and everyone else is oppressed to one degree or another. Brainwashing like this leads to the illogical conclusion of folks such as Goldberg that Jews are white and, therefore, incapable of being victims of racism. CRT has so distorted beliefs that supposedly educated people are given nationwide platforms to declare that the Holocaust was not about race. That’s of course insane. Hitler would be shocked to know that his entire Nazi effort was about something other than race.
Danhof also noted that CRT peddlers are – whether intentional or otherwise – playing right into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. He noted:
[W]hen Disney and other companies team up with the far left to promote CRT and pretend that America is irreparably and systematically racist, they are doing the bidding of the Chinese Communist Party. The CCP commits actual human rights abuses by running slave labor camps where it harvests organs and rapes and sterilizes women of the minority Muslim Uyghurs. Yet, when our State Department and others report on this, the CCP simply responds that the United States is no better since it oppresses its black and brown populations. Disney is giving air cover to slave labor. Full stop.
The company’s hypocrisy on these issues is so profound. It would be impressive if it weren’t so tragic.
The Free Enterprise Project’s full proposal and Disney’s response to it are available on pages 83-84 of Disney’s proxy statement. A written, annotated version of Danhof’s presentation can be read here. Audio of Danhof’s presentation can be heard here.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek provided no response to FEP’s proposal at today’s meeting.
“Disney has consistently pretended that its embrace of the new racism of ‘racial equity’ – which is defined by its proponents as the opposite of equality and equal treatment – somehow supports equality and equal treatment. This is nonsense,” said Free Enterprise Director Scott Shepard. “When Disney puts the mouse-ears on training or policies that disfavor any races or sexes or orientations in favor of others, or label any race, sex or orientation uniquely wrong or bad, it has broken faith with its employees and customers and has endorsed the hate it pretends to fight. This is no way to run a company. Perhaps the employees against whom it discriminates should take additional steps to make that clear to Chapek and the current executive team.”
Today’s meeting marks the fifth time FEP has participated in a shareholder meeting in 2022. To schedule an interview with a member of the Free Enterprise Project on this or other issues, contact Judy Kent at (703) 477-7476.
Launched in 2007, the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project focuses on shareholder activism, the preservation of free markets that respect shareholder and other property rights, and the confluence of big government and big business. Over the past four years alone, FEP representatives have participated in over 100 shareholder meetings – advancing free-market ideals about health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and other important public policy issues. As the leading voice for conservative-minded investors, it annually files more than 90 percent of all right-of-center shareholder resolutions. Dozens of liberal organizations, however, annually file more than 95 percent of all policy-oriented shareholder resolutions and continue to exert undue influence over corporate America. FEP also lodges lawsuits in defense of shareholder rights and free markets, participates in regulatory proceedings and contributes to legislative and regulatory reform aimed at reining in out-of-control corporate executives, protecting the corporate world for people of all viewpoints and backgrounds and pushing corporate America back to its genius and its job: business, not left-wing activism.
FEP activity has been covered by media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Drudge Report, Business Insider, National Public Radio and SiriusXM. FEP’s work was prominently featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassel’s 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 60,000 active recent contributors. Contributions are tax-deductible and may be earmarked for the Free Enterprise Project. Sign up for email updates at https://nationalcenter.org/subscribe/.
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