Conservatives in America are turning on big corporations that they believe are promoting “woke” ideologies. Sarah Fields, a conservative activist in Texas, has boycotted several major brands, including Disney, Olay, and Anheuser-Busch, after learning they were working with LGBTQ and transgender influencers. She believes it’s her duty to protect children, and has become involved in Republican politics, protesting lockdowns and rallying around issues such as gender identity. However, this move towards corporate-targeted legislation is new for the Republican party, which has traditionally aligned itself with big business on tax cuts and regulation.
In Florida, state legislators voted to remove Disney’s authority over districts containing Walt Disney World theme parks after criticizing a ban on discussing gender and sexuality in schools. In Georgia, lawmakers threatened to remove tax breaks from Delta Air Lines after the CEO said voting law changes were “unacceptable.” Meanwhile, proposed legislation to prevent governments from doing business with financial firms that take environmental, social, and governance factors into account when making investments has cost BlackRock billions of dollars in losses.
Despite the conservative backlash, however, the financial impact on companies has been relatively limited so far. BlackRock lost less than 2% of its portfolio, and Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Light sales only dropped by 1%. Many big companies, including BlackRock, continue to work closely with Republican leaders, despite public debates and protests.
Although some companies have pulled back from initiatives supporting climate change and gun control, others have participated in state-level debates over election integrity in Georgia and Texas. Conservatives such as Sarah Fields see this shift as a victory and encourage others to be less afraid and more vocal in opposing “woke” ideologies.