Today National Legal and Policy Center presented a resolution at The Walt Disney Company’s annual shareholder meeting that would have required an annual report on the company’s efforts to determine human rights impacts in dealing with foreign entities.
NLPC’s resolution and participation in the meeting received coverage from FoxBusiness.com, Outkick, Forbes, The Epoch Times, and National Review Online. The proposal was also featured in a monologue by Laura Ingraham on her Fox News show, “The Ingraham Angle,” and was the topic of discussion in a segment on “Real America’s Voice.”
The resolution comes in light of what has been Disney’s longtime cozy relationship with the communist government of China, which has been credibly accused of slavery, torture and genocide.
Speaking as sponsor of the resolution was Paul Chesser, director of NLPC’s Corporate Integrity Project. Here are excerpts from his remarks at the meeting:
An annual report on due diligence on human rights is all we ask for from The Walt Disney Company.
But Disney’s board of directors says that’s a waste of the company’s time and money.
This multi-billion-dollar corporation fritters away millions of dollars of the company’s resources on social justice initiatives for things like:
- erasing symbols of our nation’s history;
- forcing abusive racial training programs on employees;
- and adding “content warnings” to classic films like “Dumbo” and “Fantasia.” …
Do you know what else Disney had the time and money for?
They had the time and money to film “Mulan” in the part of communist China with among the most disgusting and egregious human rights violations in the world – in Xinjiang…
Rather than avoid Xinjiang and the abusive government that manages the region, Disney instead filmed “Mulan” there and then THANKED the local authorities for their help in the film’s credits.
So when the rest of the responsible corporate world is running away from the stigma of slavery, Disney is praising the local communists.
Meanwhile, Disney executives say they will not release any new films in Russia due to Vladimir Putin’s aggression against Ukraine.
Since when do ESG principles mean you get to support genocidal regimes in Asia, but you must oppose colonial warmongering in Europe?
Seems like cognitive dissonance to me…
Disney executives make sure that its Chinese government partners stay happy – by removing content that might shame them for their human rights abuses, by self-censoring ‘The Simpsons’ episodes and movies like ‘Dr. Strange.’
No need to upset Dictator Xi! …
Disney’s lawyers use lots of meaningless words like “policies,” “practices,” “principles,” “standards,” and “values” to make it appear like they are vigilant about human rights.
They even say they are “deeply committed” to human rights – that’s a favorite phrase of corporate lawyers.
Disney even says it supports documents like the “United Nations’ Universal Declaration on Human Rights.” But is this statement doing ANYTHING to China for its genocidal actions? Just because you say you are FOR something, doesn’t mean you are DOING anything about it. …
All the Disney board has to say for itself is that our proposal is a waste of their time, that they don’t have enough resources to carry it out, and that they are already disclosing their human rights activities.
Well, the Securities and Exchange Commission DISAGREED with Disney’s lawyers, which is why this resolution is in this year’s proxy statement.
We have asked our fellow shareholders at BlackRock and Vanguard to support our proposal, but they have given no indication whether they will do so. I guess their so-called ESG principles also have an exception clause for communist China.
Nonetheless, all we ask is that Disney’s leadership simply explain the human rights impacts of their interactions with foreign governments and entities.
If they can’t bring themselves to do that, then the question we have for Disney executives is: What are you hiding?
The full text of NLPC’s shareholder resolution for The Walt Disney Company can be viewed here.
The text of Chesser’s full five-minute speech in support of the resolution can be viewed here.
You can listen to Chesser’s speech here: