Get Woke, Go Broke: How National Boycotts Are Indeed Crushing ESG Companies

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Jun 28, 2023 - 07:40 PM

A couple months back the leftist media including Rolling Stone attempted to “debunk” the mantra of “get woke, go broke” with a series of articles and reports suggesting that corporations that embrace social justice ideology and ESG related policies are actually more profitable than ever.  At the time, the momentum for conservative boycotts of companies like Anheuser-Busch and eventually Target had just started to roll forward, and as is often the case with the media, they jumped the gun and made assumptions before the dust had settled on the issue. 

They said the boycott against Bud Light wouldn't last long, but it has been three months now and Bud Light just suffered its worst weekly loss so far, with sales down 30% at the end of June.  Stock losses for A-B were also in the $27 billion range.  The company is now preparing for the possibility that these losses are permanent and that customers are not coming back.


In response, A-B fired the marketing department responsible for the branding campaign using trans activist Dylan Mulvaney as a spokesman.  Take note that the corporate media including the Associated Press tried to “fact check” this claim, arguing that A-B didn't actually fire the marketing team and that the assertion was “satire” mistaken as reality.  According to text messages made by executive staff and obtained by the Daily Caller, the team was actually let go by A-B. 

The Bud Light texts note that the people involved are not allowed to use the word “fired” when discussing the marketing incident.  This fits with a common theme we are seeing lately with woke companies, which is that when they have to cut activist employees loose they try to hide the fact from the public.  Why?  Probably because this would be an admission that going woke is a disastrous prospect.  ESG driven organizations care more about optics than they do about admitting the problem and taking action to fix it.  

Target suffered at least $15 billion in share losses after their their line of trans clothing for kids sparked a mass boycott of the retailer.  Overall profit losses will not be known until next year and the company was already dealing with flat sales, but the effects of the boycott will likely be felt by Target for many months to come.     

Generally, establishment journalists will use base gross profit numbers as their “smoking gun evidence” that woke companies are doing great while ignoring the various factors that add up to those profits.  Using Disney as an example, we can see that if we only go by gross profits, the company appears to be doing well with $28 billion in 2022.  What the media doesn't take into account is the fact that Disney gross profits today compared to pre-covid profits are actually flat.

Furthermore, gross profits are meaningless unless we also take into account project cuts, overhead cuts and employee layoffs.  Disney has lost almost $1 billion on multiple woke box office failures in 2023 alone, and its stock performance has been crippled, not to mention they still have a $48 billion debt balance.  This spring, Disney cut over $5.5 billion (so far) in overhead and operating costs along with 7000 employees.  Meaning, even if Disney's gross profits maintain at around $28 billion for 2023, they still had to chop $5 billion in spending and fire 7000 workers just to hit that number.  They wouldn't have to do any of this if going woke was profitable.

We also have to ask why, if going woke is such a sure bet, has Disney's “chief diversity officer” (head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) suddenly left the company after six years?  The diversity officer is a pointless job that represents the pinnacle of corporate wokeness.  Could it be that she was fired, and Disney is desperately trying to salvage the rest of 2023 into 2024 by finding a DEI chief that is a little less woke?  It's hard to say.  As mentioned, activist employees never seem to get officially “fired,” they are simply given a leave of absence or a vacation that they never return from, or they “resign.”

A common argument among leftists and the media is that conservatives and moderates will have to boycott so many companies due to widespread woke policies they will end up making all their own clothes and growing all their own food.  In other words, they think there's no way Americans can boycott them all.  But Americans don't need to – They just need to boycott enough companies to force the rest to accept the reality that they can't survive on ESG alone.  

This is, in an interesting way, also an admission by activists that the corporate world completely backs the political left.  Far from being socialist rebels fighting the evil capitalist empire, leftists are actually useful shills and defenders for the corporate cabal.

Beyond that, their attitude reveals an elitism that is corporate-centric.  They seem to forget that small businesses are half the US economy and that Americans don't have to pander to left-leaning companies to get what they want.  Not to mention, if said companies continue on their current path of self destruction through ESG devotion they might just implode, leaving localized businesses behind to pick up the pieces.  

The social justice crowd might want to seriously consider learning to grow their own food and produce their own necessities.  The frail left is at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to living in a world that doesn't cater to their every convenience.