Corprate Bias Ratings
DirecTV, which is 70% owned by AT&T, dropped conservative cable networks Newsmax and OANN. However, DirecTV brought Newsmax back on air after pushback and striking a new cable deal with the network. AT&T previously banned advertising on Breitbart News, although the CEO later changed this decision after receiving pushback. The company was involved in a controversy surrounding the cancellation of a Trump campaign texting program, though the company and its industry peers claimed that a third-party anti-spam detection software caused the problem rather than political intervention. AT&T covers the cost of "medically necessary transition-related care” for its employees and their children. The company pledged over $20 million to BLM and related causes and funds the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). It also funds multiple LGBTQ organizations. AT&T is a signatory of the Business Roundtable's 2019 Statement on the Purpose of Corporation, which promotes stakeholder capitalism. The company does not have viewpoint protections for its employees. However, AT&T has not used PAC donations for ideological purposes. For these reasons, AT&T receives a Medium Risk rating.
Has denied service to customers, suppliers, or vendors due to their political views or religious beliefs OR corporately boycotts, divests, or sanctions regions, people groups, or industries.
DirecTV, which is 70% owned by AT&T, dropped conservative news networks One America News Network (OANN) and Newsmax in March 2022 and January 2023 respectively (1)(2)(3). Newsmax alleged censorship, but AT&T and DirecTV have rebutted that the decision was based on failed negotiations over cable fees (4)(5). AT&T and Newsmax eventually reached an agreement, and Newsmax was returned to the air after several months (6). AT&T’s advertising unit formerly blacklisted Breitbart, though the CEO reversed course after pressure from conservatives (7). AT&T, along with other major telecommunications companies, cut off the Trump campaign’s texting service for five days in the 2020 election cycle. Each company claimed it was a third-party anti-spam decision, although the Trump campaign thought the decision might have been politically motivated (8). AT&T received a score of 100 on the Corporate Equality Index from the HRC. Among other requirements, this means the company has pledged to vet vendors based on LGBTQ policies (9).
Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.
Uses corporate reputation to support ideological causes and/or organizations hostile to freedom of expression.
AT&T advocates for the Equality Act and transgender participation in girls’ and women’s sports (1)(2). AT&T also opposed various state legislature’s efforts to secure their elections with voting integrity bills (3). AT&T opposed the Florida Parental Rights in Education Act, which prohibits teaching gender identity and sexual orientation in schools to kids in K-3rd grade (4). AT&T is committed to ESG (environmental, social, and governance) goals (5). AT&T has signed the OneTen pledge, furthering emphasis on race in hiring (6). AT&T has introduced a “racial re-education” program, which encourages employees to refer to an essay stating that white people are “the problem” and that racism is a “solely white trait” (7). Former AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is a member of the Business Roundtable and signed its 2019 Statement on the Purpose of Corporation, which promotes stakeholder capitalism over traditional obligations to shareholders and customers (8)(9). AT&T CEO John Stankey is a signatory of the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge (10).
Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.
AT&T has donated to Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign (1)(2)(3). AT&T has also funded partisan advocacy groups like Color of Change (4). AT&T has pledged over $20 million to the Black Lives Matter movement and related causes (5)(6). AT&T is a brass sponsor of Out & Equal and a corporate partner of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (7)(8). In 2023, AT&T pledged $1 million over two years to The Trevor Project (9). AT&T hosted Miami Beach Pride (10). AT&T has a perfect score on the HRC’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index. This score indicates the company covers the cost of “medically necessary transition-related care” for its employees and their children (11)(12).
All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
November 28, 2023
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|Date||ESG Category||Proponent||Summary of Resolution||Mgmt Rec||Total Vote % in Favor|
|5/18/23||Governance||Kenneth Steiner||Require an Independent Board Chairman||Against||34.40%|
|5/18/23||Social||Nathan Cummings Foundation||Report on Racial Justice Impacts/Plan||Against||21.50%|
|5/19/22||Social||As You Sow||Report on Political Spending Congruency||Against||44.12%|
|5/19/22||Governance||Kenneth Steiner||Independent Board Chairman||Against||33.10%|
|5/19/22||Governance||Jing Zhao||Consider Pay Disparity Between Executives and Other Employees||Against||12.31%|
|5/19/22||Social||National Center for Public Policy Research||Civil Rights and Non-Discrimination Audit||Against||3.96%|