Penguin Random House

Media and Entertainment

Risk Level:

Rating - Danger
High Risk

Summary:

Penguin Random House canceled a contract with an author due to a lack of diversity in his historical book. The company does not protect employees from viewpoint discrimination. It did provide "antiracism" training for employees and hosted a company-wide book discussion based upon the writings of the leftist author Ibram X. Kendi. Penguin Random House does not donate its funds or corporate advocacy to discriminate or advance agendas. 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 does have a written policy requiring suppliers to have pro-LGBTQ policies (1). The company 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 (2)(3). Nonetheless, the company claims to take a stand against book banning (4).

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 limits its charitable giving to book and audiobook donations to various nonprofits. It does not discriminate against faith-based charities in its 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 explicitly protect its employees from viewpoint discrimination (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).

Criteria

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

Risk Level
Rationale

Penguin Random House does not donate to ideological groups hostile to freedom of expression (1).

Criteria

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

Risk Level
N/A
Rationale

Penguin Random House does not have a PAC or a history of political giving.

All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
December 28, 2022

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