From Hollywood studios to beer makers and personal hygiene brands, for the past decade corporate America has been pushing increasingly progressive ideology, often to the outrage of a large portion of their target audiences and even to the detriment of their sales. But judging by recent statements made by some of the most influential figures in finance, there may be a small glimmer of hope at the end of this “woke” nightmare.
Over the years, the phrase ‘get woke, go broke’ has time and time again proven to be more than just a popular catchphrase. Take for example Gillette, which cost its owner Procter & Gamble $8 billion after the release of its infamous commercial that tried to take a dig at “toxic masculinity.” Or Budweiser, whose Bud Light used to be one of America’s top-selling beers but is now facing a nationwide boycott after the company did a catastrophic collaboration with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney.
And, of course, there are Disney and Netflix who are still trying to win back their audiences after consistently releasing formulaic, preachy, LGBTQ agenda-driven films and TV shows that audiences are refusing to watch.
But, despite the boycotts, diminishing sales, and an increasingly frustrated customer base, these companies have refused to back down from their ‘woke’ messaging and have not shown any sign of going under any time soon.
The thing is, that aside from activist writers, producers and marketing directors who aim to spread their questionable ideas about the world as far and wide as possible, there has always been another underlying reason why these companies have pursued progressive messaging. And that is ESG, or Environmental, Social, and Governance ratings.
As with all billion dollar corporations, money is made not only by selling stuff, but also by attracting investments. For years, companies like Disney, Netflix, Budweiser, and Gillette relied on their ESG ratings to draw in investors and keep their shareholders happy.
The concept of ESG was first introduced at the United Nations back in 2004. On paper, these principles were meant to be a force for good and encourage companies to be more transparent, plus environmentally and socially responsible. The non-financial metrics were supposed to serve as a basis for companies to evaluate and rank their commitments to goals such as promoting diversity, fighting climate change, and performing social outreach, among other issues.
But in practice, ESG-compliant companies have instead consistently faced accusations of exclusively promoting progressive, liberal, or ‘woke’ ideology and focusing too much on keeping up their ESG ratings instead of listening to their customers and giving them what they ask for.