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2022 Might Have Been the Beginning of the End for Corporate Wokeism

Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2022
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by Seamus Brennan
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AMAC Exclusive – By Seamus Brennan

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For all the election headlines in 2022, one of the most significant political developments of the past year may not have been in the voting booth, but in board rooms from New York to Los Angeles. After years of wokeism dominating U.S. corporate culture, conservatives saw some encouraging signs this year that the left’s grip on the business world may be slipping amid mounting backlash from everyday Americans.

One of the clearest examples of this phenomenon was in Hollywood, where Tinseltown’s obsession with injecting wokeness into everything from commercials to major blockbusters appeared to finally catch up with studios. Since 2019—the last year before the pandemic—summer box office numbers have plummeted a remarkable 21 percent. According to the Wall Street Journal, the summer of 2022 marked “the lowest haul since 2001.”

Movie studios’ disastrous year was led by films like Toy Story spinoff Lightyear, which drew controversy over a lesbian kiss scene between two of the film’s animated characters. Disney filmmakers had originally removed the scene because it was unnecessary to the story, but re-inserted it in an apparent protest of a Florida parental rights bill. Film executives also ditched Tim Allen, a rare outspoken conservative in Hollywood, who voiced the Buzz Lightyear role in the original Toy Story films.

Another 2022 Disney film, Strange World—which was lauded by the media for including the franchise’s first gay main character and contained a storyline chock full of woke messaging about climate change—similarly amounted to a “historic bomb” for Disney.

Clearly, attempts to use children’s films as a vehicle for radical left-wing social and cultural ideologies are not as popular with parents as Disney executives would like to think. Meanwhile, movies largely devoid of wokeism like Top Gun: Maverick and Spiderman: No Way Home retained their summer blockbuster status this year.

But the demise of Disney is only one of many signs that corporate wokeism may finally be on its way out the door. Following his takeover of Twitter, Elon Musk proved decisively that CEOs can purge far-left activists from their businesses and not suffer significant professional or financial consequences—a positive sign for other right-leaning corporate executives who have feared potential backlash from doing the same.

Pressure has also continued to mount on woke investors like BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, whose company has routinely pushed far-left priorities as part of its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles. In early December, fellow investment giant Vanguard announced that it was withdrawing from a major climate change collective, signaling that woke banks are beginning to rethink their embrace of liberal policies.

Republican politicians are also stepping up to push back hard on corporate wokeism. Perhaps the best example of this is Senator Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) now-viral questioning of Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen, who sought support from GOP officeholders to offset regulatory policies proposed by Democrats. “You know, this situation reminds me a little bit of the situation Big Tech companies have found themselves in recent years. They’ve come to Washington because they fear regulation from our Democrat friends, or action by the Biden administration and they expect Republicans, who are traditionally more supportive of free enterprise, to come to their defense,” Cotton told McMullen.

“I’ve cautioned them for years that if they silence conservatives and center-right voters… if they discriminate against them in their company, they probably shouldn’t come and ask Republican senators to carry the water for them whenever our Democrat friends want to regulate them or block their mergers.”

Cotton’s comments come after two former Arkansas-based Kroger employees were fired for refusing to wear rainbow-colored aprons in support of “pride month.” Kroger had also recently introduced a guide urging employees to stop using words like “sir” and “ma’am.”

“I’ll say this,” Cotton concluded in his remarks to McMullen. “I’m sorry that’s happening to you. Best of luck.”

As Cotton suggested during his questioning, the Republican Party for far too long has been blindly beholden to national and multinational corporations that actively discriminate against conservative voices and openly work to advance the interests of the Democrat Party. As Cotton makes clear, Republicans are now willing to treat corporations like their Democrat opponents until such time that those companies return to their primary role of providing value for consumers and investors, not promoting far-left political ideologies.

This year’s developments by no means indicate that corporate wokeism is dead. However, the relationship between big business and militant progressivism may be beginning to fray—and should the GOP take a page from Tom Cotton’s book and use their platform to call out woke corporations, it could soon be fully destroyed.

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David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

Excellent article.
WOKE is for LOSERS that live in FANTASY WORLD.
Say GOODBYE to WOKE if you want to stay in business.
Otherwise, GO BROKE.

gina
gina
1 year ago

Right on, Senator Cotton! I’ll continue to boycott woke companies and hold dear God, family, and country. Not the country wokeism, socialism, and marxism have created but the country our forefathers created in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The country our Lord and Savior created through the sword of the spirit (Bible).

legally present
legally present
1 year ago

I haven’t been to the movies in YEARS, and probably won’t step foot in one again. Your so called “movie stars”, that means you learn lines and say them, it’s NOT YOUR JOB to tell what to believe, who’s good (in your opinion) and who’s bad. I don’t like your telling me how to run my life, and what decisions I make are good or bad, in other words, shut up and act, sing, or whatever you do for a living, I’m NOT impressed.

Pete from St Pete
Pete from St Pete
1 year ago

It’s about time we all stopped acting like sheep and organized some push back.

Aaf Schafer
Aaf Schafer
1 year ago

I boycott all businesses who are woke. If everyone did we just might save America.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

If so then Victory ahead

Joey Mize
Joey Mize
1 year ago

This woke non-sense has caused and is still causing much conflict between every level of our social and cultural world here in the US. Not to mention BUSINESS. I have my favorite brands, just like we all do. GOYA is a good brand. Nothing in the world wrong with that GOYA can of beans, or sauce etc. So I am a bad person or my mom is a bad person or my grand mother is a bad person ? just because some idiot says that GOYA does not fit ” their ” concept or ideology. On day one of this stupid nonsense there was one day too much. The first time I heard of this I thought yea sure, this will be the end of those people in short order, THE WOKENESS MESS CROWD. But then the BIG BOYS who do not like the competition saw a way to destroy that competition. Just get on the absurd woke parade and pour on the gasoline whenever possible. Then it backfired. Once, twice , half a dozen times on those who were fueling the flames. Now suddenly we see the damage since the smoke has cleared and I bet there will be much more to observe once the embers die, and those that are blindly lead along with this stupid, absurd, unfashionable, ideology ??? will go head long over the cliff with the piper. The Rats were always a manageable problem but then the lefty lemmings joined in and as we can see there is no room on the boat for 2 of the same Ideology. The piper was paid well and he will rid the land of the LOSER’s. Unique how it takes so little to alter the path from a swell to a dribble once the light of day is shed on some backward Ideology. HANG ON GEORGE we are coming for you too ! And I promise I will be in the crowd to watch and applaud when you go over the cliff George. I feel certain down deep that you had something to do with this woke garbage, your into everything that is wrong for America.

The article was well presented and well written. Thankyou AMAC for engaging Honest journalist, who seem to have a quality concept of what NORMAL is all about. NO SIR ,,, Thankyou Ma’Me.

Phil
Phil
1 year ago

Too bad Cotton had to commit political suicide by voting for the Omnibus bill – with all the Communist pork, set asides and gun control crap it contains. He stabbed his loyal constuents in the back. I’d NEVER vote for him again and I hope my fellow AMAC readers will likewise give their votes to REAL conservatives!

Jeri
Jeri
1 year ago

In the end, money speaks the loudest…

Chuck
Chuck
1 year ago

STOP SUPPORTING COMMUNIST BIG TECH, BANKS, AND “WOKE” COMPANIES! If you do your research, there are conservative alternatives to communist facebook, communist google, communist amazon, communist apple, “woke” walmart, “woke” target, “woke” BOA, etc. I know it’s a bit inconvenient to move off of those communist platforms/banks/companies and find conservative alternatives, but I’m almost done and I LOVE the fact that I’m no longer supporting their attempted takeover of our country. I’d rather be inconvenienced rather than live under their communist control. FJB!

John
John
1 year ago

Right on Senator Cotton! Now if you just explain why you voted for the Omnibus bill.

NewDay
NewDay
1 year ago

The end of wokism can’t come soon enough. It is tearing our society apart and damaging young people beyond repair.

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
1 year ago

Wokesters don’t mind biting the hand that feeds them. That hand ought to slap them across the face so they MIGHT awaken from their STUPOR.

Kevin
Kevin
1 year ago

Go Woke, Go Broke. I don’t feel at all sorry for those companies. They freely support discrimmination. The management that supported woke should be fired and without their golden parachute.

AlfromFl
AlfromFl
1 year ago

It’s also happening on the parent-school front with challenges to school boards across the country. It is especially absurd with the gender movement that pushes children to change gender. The activism of the alphabet (LGBTQ etc)group to force their views on the culture is beginning to see pushback at the school level – stop it before it begins.

Gabe hanzeli Kent wa
Gabe hanzeli Kent wa
1 year ago

Every single ceo and board member who allowed the company to go woke needs to be fired and taken to court to get back the money their ultra left wing decision making lost.

PIDL
PIDL
1 year ago

I live in a small town. There is only 2 places here to buy groceries. One is Walmart. The other is Ruler, that has Kroger products. I do not go to Ruler much. But I go there for items on sale , cheaper than Walmart. I need to buy less at Walmart too. And being retired on a fixed income gives me incentive to save as much money as I can.

I will always try to steer clear of WOKE and ESG! I need to stop buying things on ny Amazon card. It was just a backup before. I had all of my credit cards paid off, intil my cousin screwed me and did not pay be back for material he bought on my account at a lumber yard. It will be next year before I can pay off the card and close it down.

fpatriot
fpatriot
1 year ago

Companies are in business to make money and be employers, period, they should not get in politics, which is a dirty, nasty business. Many companies wishing to politically influence their customer base, have found that customers will not tolerate their “wokeness” and instead shop elsewhere.
We have boycotted Target and a number of other stores that pushed bisexual bathrooms and other “woke” ideas, or that push leftist politics.

BAE
BAE
1 year ago

Being WOKE is destroying our country. The taxpayers pay dearly for this nonsense. Phony baloney elite bigots.

Robin Walter Boyd
Robin Walter Boyd
1 year ago

Personally, I’d like to see all companies involved in social engineering tactics go under due to lack of patronage. Businesses should cater to everyone equally.

Rich
Rich
1 year ago

The woke crowd has failed to realize that the majority of Americans still have moral values. Wokeism and all that has trailed behind it has pushed too far and a majority of Americans are fed up with it. We finally are realizing that the only way to get corporate attention is financially. Way to go America!

Ronnie
Ronnie
1 year ago

When all the members of corporations stand up for what their business was built upon and made them what they are they will flourish. Just look at the target store gender bathroom deal for example. I still don’t go there. Can’t stand Disney, and sports, haven’t watched football since they took a knee and won’t watch until there is an apology and Goodell takes responsibility and steps down and out. The crimes were by the management and need to be addressed as such. Maybe they need to be stocking shelves, cleaning the bathrooms,and taking out the trash and they can start by taking themselves out by stepping down. Maybe the board should demand it. Just my thoughts on it. But I won’t step foot in in there The only way I know is I don’t like the service I am getting I don’t have to go there. Why can’t I sue them like the woke people do when they want a wedding cake baked by a Christian and it goes against their faith. They sue and bankrupt the Baker and harass them into submission. And they just keep coming. Now their puppet president has declared war against the people that stand against the injustice because they see it as an injustice against themselves. They have figured that they can use our laws against us circumventing the constitution. The courts are against us because they are themselves woke. I’m afraid it will end in civil war because the civil has evaporated from the civil court. You can come against me for saying this but it’s true whether you like it or not. I am wide awake how about you.

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