Walt Disney Co.
Corprate Bias Ratings
The Walt Disney Company has fired employees, including celebrities, according to political views. Disney also threatened to move business out of Georgia if the governor signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2016. The company vets vendors for LGBTQ policies, is part of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, and does not provide viewpoint protections for its employees. Disney covers travel costs for employee abortions and covers the cost of "medically necessary transition-related care" for its employees and their children. Disney regularly uses its reputation and corporate funds to push gender ideology and LGBTQ organizations. This includes a $5 million donation and platinum partnership with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Disney pledged $5 million to BLM and related causes and mandates critical race theory training for its employees. It has also leveraged its vast resources to fight the state policies of Florida. Disney is Ceres Network member, committed to carbon neutrality by 2040. For these reasons, The Walt Disney Company receives a High 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.
Lucasfilm, a Walt Disney Co. affiliate, publicly fired actress Gina Carano after she posted political opinions on Twitter (1)(2). A former Disney cast member claimed he was fired from Walt Disney World after expressing his political opinions on Twitter (3). Disney drew claims of corporate hypocrisy when it did not fire Carano’s fellow star in The Mandalorian, Pedro Pascal when he compared Trump supporters to Nazis (4). In 2016, Disney threatened to stop filming media productions in Georgia over a proposed religious liberty bill (5). Georgia governor Nathan Deal vetoed the bill shortly thereafter (6). In 2022, several former employees sued The Walt Disney Co. for religious discrimination after the unvaccinated employees were fired after seeking religious exemptions to the company’s Covid-19 policies (7)(8). Disney is a member of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, which aims to demonetize advertisements and suppress content that “vilifies” individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity, discusses “debated social issues in a negative or partisan context” or spreads “hate speech” (9)(10)(11). The company received a score of 100 on the Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Among other requirements, this means Disney has pledged to vet vendors based on LGBTQ policies (12)(13). Disney embraces ESG metrics, principles, and reporting (14).
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.
Disney put into place mandatory critical race theory training for employees, including topics such as “anti-racism,” “systemic racism,” “white privilege,” and other concepts (1). Disney advocated for the Equality Act and against religious freedom legislation in state legislatures (2)(3). Disney’s former CEO Bob Chapek caved to activist pressure and spoke out against the Florida Parental Rights in Education Act, which prohibits teaching gender identity and sexual orientation in schools to kids in K-3rd grade. The company put forward a statement saying that “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that” (4)(5). A group of Disney employees created an unsigned open letter and staged walkouts urging Disney to remain politically neutral (6). Disney put out a statement in response standing in solidarity with LGBTQ employees (7). In an episode of “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder”, a children’s show, characters promoted reparations for black Americans, saying “Slaves built this country and we the descendants of slaves in America have earned reparations for their suffering and continue to earn reparations every moment we spend submerged in a systemic prejudice, racism, and white supremacy that America was founded with and still has not atoned for” (8). In 2023, Disney closed its Splash Mountain theme park ride due to allegedly racist roots (9). The theme parks division also removed “ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls” from its announcements and changed “fairy godmothers” as part of an effort to promote entirely gender neutral titles (10). Disney has also added warnings of racist themes in its classic movies, like “Lady and the Tramp”, “Peter Pan”, “Dumbo”, and more (11). After corporately denouncing Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, corporate executives held a meeting where leaked footage confirmed top employees’ “not-so-secret gay agenda” whereby content producers were purposefully “injecting queerness” into children’s programming (12). CEO Bob Iger is a member of the Business Roundtable, but has not supported its ideological initiatives (13). Disney is a Ceres Network Member, committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2040 (14)(15).
Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.
Disney has pledged to fund its employees’ travel to get an abortion (1). Disney 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 (2)(3). The company is a member of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (4)(5)(6). The company attempted to donate $5 million to the HRC in the aftermath of its delayed opposition to a Florida bill preventing teaching gender identity and sexual orientation in schools to young children in schools, but the HRC rebuffed the donation “until meaningful action is taken” against the bill (7)(8). Months later, the HRC accepted the same donation (9). Disney is a platinum partner of the HRC (10). Disney pledged $5 million to the Black Lives Matter movement and related organizations (11)(12). Disney is a Titanium sponsor of Out and Equal and a corporate partner of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (13)(14). In the past, the Disney Foundation has given small donations to the SPLC, but there is no record of continuing donations (15). In 2020, Disney pulled its advertising from Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News following comments Carlson made regarding the Black Lives Matter movement and the death of George Floyd. Carlson suggested that the protests were “definitely not about black lives” and described them as “riots” (16)(17)(18).
All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
November 30, 2023
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|Date||ESG Category||Proponent||Summary of Resolution||Mgmt Rec||Total Vote % in Favor|
|4/3/23||Governance||Educational Foundation of America||Request for Political Expenditures Report||Against||36.20%|
|4/3/23||Governance||Thomas Strobhar||Request for Disclosure of Charitable Contributions over $10,000||Against||7.40%|
|4/3/23||Social||National Legal and Policy Center||Communist China Audit||Against||7.10%|
|3/9/22||Social||Anne Butterfield||Report on Gender/Racial Pay Gap||Against||59.12%|
|3/9/22||Governance||Kenneth Steiner||Special Meetings - Reduce Ownership Req. to 10%||Against||39.40%|
|3/9/22||Social||National Legal and Policy Center||Human Rights Due Diligence Report||Against||34.93%|
|3/9/22||Social||Mercy Investment Services||Report on Lobbying Payments and Policy||Against||32.58%|
|3/9/22||Social||National Center for Public Policy Research||Report on Workplace Non-Discrimination Audit||Against||2.63%|