Woke corporations wasted no time in the aftermath of the Roe v. Wade overturn, with many of them quickly issuing statements describing their outrage and promising to pay for employees to travel to other states to get abortions should their own state prohibit them. The Walt Disney Co, which can’t seem to get out of its own way recently, is one of those companies.
A Florida Disney employee is speaking out, though, telling the NY Post on Saturday that his company’s stance will be “be bad for business” and will “alienate” customers.
“This is yet another attempt by Disney to take a political stance that will inevitably alienate potential customers,” Castillo said.
— Jose Castillo for Congress (@JoseForFlorida) June 25, 2022
Disney released a memo in the aftermath of the SCOTUS ruling which stated:
…we have processes in place so that an employee who may be unable to access care in one location has affordable coverage for receiving similar levels of care in another location. This travel benefit covers medical situations related to cancer treatments, transplants, rare disease treatment and family planning (including pregnancy-related decisions).
Jose Castillo, who works in resort management in Orlando and is also a GOP FL-9 Congressional candidate, thinks that’s an awful idea, telling the Post:
Disney knew full well that this memo would be leaked and make national news.
They sent it anyway because Disney wants to make a political statement and attempt, once more, to influence our country’s political process.
Disney is one of many companies that has chosen to get political regarding abortion since Roe was overturned. Facebook parent Meta, American Express, Bank of America, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Goldman Sachs, Apple, Starbucks, and Lyft all took similar woke stances after Friday’s ruling.
Notably, McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Tyson, and Marriott did not weigh in, while the nation’s largest employer Walmart stayed quiet too.
As we have seen in recent months Disney’s political activism has hurt the company financially and it is my belief that the Board of Directors is violating its fiduciary duty to shareholders by continuing to comment on divisive political matters.
Why do companies keep wading into political matters? In the case of abortion, my colleague Brandon Morse writes it makes financial sense:
The corporations doing this aren’t doing this because they care. They’re doing it because maternity leave costs a lot of time and money, and it’s cheaper to just shell out a few grand and save on costs. That way, employee #4567 can get right back to work without too much trouble.
University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business professor Maurice Schweitzer says that “We’re in this moment in time where we’re expecting corporate leaders to also be leaders in the political sphere. A lot of employees expect to work in companies that not only pay them well but whose values are aligned with theirs.”
It may be true that a lot of employees of these companies expect their employers to be political leaders, but what the above analysis misses is that many other employees and customers are emphatically not in favor of their favorite businesses weighing in on every woke issue of the day. You may please a few zealots, but you’re ticking off a whole lot of other folks with your statements.
Disney has been pushing hard on progressive politics recently—and its stock has plummeted nearly 45 percent over the past twelve months. Hard to argue that it’s a total coincidence.
You’re covering abortion travel, which is weird since you’re in the kids business. One would think you’d want all babies to be born, since they’re all potential new customers.
— Monica Crowley (@MonicaCrowley) June 26, 2022
It’s hard to understand why so many corporations are wading into the political arena when they do not seem to benefit from it. It mostly seems they’re acting out in fear of their own employees. I don’t know how much longer Disney will continue to employ Castillo—one can’t help but wonder if his days at the company are numbered. But he speaks for a lot of people when he points out that woke companies are alienating a lot of their own customers. I for one kicked Disney+ out of my house after Gina Carano was fired from the Mandalorian series for having an opinion.
I have no plans to re-subscribe.