Penguin Random House

New York
Media and Entertainment

Corprate Bias Ratings

Risk Level:

Rating - Danger
High Risk

Penguin Random House canceled a contract with an author due to a lack of diversity in his historical book. Penguin Random House has sued the state of Florida over books that were removed from public schools for inappropriate content for children. The company does not provide viewpoint protections for its employees. Penguin Random House provides "antiracism" training for employees and hosted a company-wide book discussion based upon the writings of the leftist author Ibram X. Kendi. The company opposed various state and local legislation intended to protect parental rights, girls’ sports, bathroom facilities, and gendered spaces. For these reasons, Penguin Random House receives a High Risk rating.

Criteria
Risk Level
Rationale
Corporate Weaponization
Criteria

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.

Risk Level
Rationale

Penguin Random House notably canceled a book contract with historian Richard Cohen in 2021 for “not highlighting enough black figures.” Cohen made significant edits to include more of such figures, but the contract was still canceled (1)(2). Nonetheless, the company claims to take a stand against book banning (3)(4). Penguin Random House has published various books that have been removed from Florida public schools due to inappropriate content; the company has sued the state (5).

Criteria

Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.

Risk Level
Rationale

Penguin Random House does not appear to discriminate against religious organizations in its charitable giving (1).

Criteria

Employment policies fail to protect against discrimination based on political affiliation/views and/or religion.

Risk Level
Rationale

Penguin Random House does not provide viewpoint protections for its employees (1).

Corporate Governance and Public Policy
Criteria

Uses corporate reputation to support ideological causes and/or organizations hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

Penguin Random House has antiracism training for employees and hosted its first-ever “company-wide read,” which was Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to be an Antiracist” (1). After the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Penguin Random House “prepared a book list that includes titles on the history of abortion rights and the people who fought for them” (2). Penguin Random House with PEN America filed a lawsuit against Florida School District for its removal of books regarding “race, racism, and LGBT identities” (3). The company has also published LGBT book collections on its website (4)(5). Penguin Random House opposed various state and local legislation intended to protect parental rights, girls’ sports, bathroom facilities, and gendered spaces (6).

Criteria

Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

Penguin Random House has not used corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies (1).

Criteria

Uses corporate political contributions for ideological, non-business purposes.

Risk Level
N/A
Rationale

Penguin Random House does operate a PAC at this time (1).

All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
February 18, 2024

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