Multiple media reports say corporate executives — including at Starbucks — are reducing their chatter and advocacy on “green and social initiatives” amid the Target and Bud Light stock-market disasters.
On June 13, NBC News reported that gay and transgender employees at Starbucks protested when the company executives told the outlets to reduce the in-store displays for transgenderism and gay status:
The group, Starbucks Workers United, is alleging that the company’s corporate management has been asking its workers in at least 21 states to take down Pride decorations over the last two weeks, a claim that the company refutes.
Starbucks is taking down all Pride decorations in stores across the United States
People are sick and tired of companies pushing the woke ideology. pic.twitter.com/vpIw8Ft3gq
— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) June 13, 2023
The union claimed that workers in Massachusetts, for instance, were being informed that there weren’t enough “labor hours” for employees to allocate for decorating. It added that in Oklahoma, some were told “it was a safety concern to block windows with flags” and noted threats to Target employees over that company’s Pride displays as a reason for the safety caution.
Companies executives are trying to bump up the company’s stock value.
UPDATE: Starbucks HQ is denying that it has banned Pride decorations from its stores…However the Starbucks Workers Union is pushing back on that denial saying it's received "countless stories" from workers who are claiming the decorations are in fact coming down.
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) June 13, 2023
The company denied a policy of lowering support for the “Pride” ceremonies, but an employee union provided evidence of corporate curbs:
At this store in Wisconsin, Starbucks partners were told Pride decorations were okay – only to later have their District Manager demand they be taken down for "not being welcoming to everyone." pic.twitter.com/sol4oRmlQG
— Starbucks Workers United (@SBWorkersUnited) June 13, 2023
The post-Target, post-Bud Light caution by CEOs is nationwide, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal.
“Finance chiefs and other executives have significantly quieted down in public settings about their environmental and employee diversity efforts,” said a June 12 Wall Street Journal article that studied executives’ mention of related terms while touting their companies. The article continued:
Executives at U.S.-listed companies mentioned “environmental, social and governance,” “ESG,” “diversity, equity and inclusion,” “DEI” or “sustainability” on 575 earnings calls from April 1 to June 5, down 31% from the same period last year, according to data from financial-research platform AlphaSense. That is the largest such year-over-year decline and the fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year drops, following a pickup in these discussions and corporate social efforts in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in May 2020.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of my trans friends and colleagues, and we’ve all noticed less brands seeking partnerships and smaller budgets for Pride campaigns,” transgender activist Rose Montoya told the UK’s Guardian newspaper. “It’s disappointing.”
The left-wing outlet noted:
According to RILA Global Consulting, a company that studies consumers, brands, and trends, this time last year there were less than 400 social media posts calling for boycotts of Pride collections. In May 2023, that number jumped to 15,000.
On June 10, Montoya bared his cosmetically-modified breasts at a White House rally in Washington D.C.
Some of the companies that threw their brand into corporate advocacy are also being penalized for attempting to depart.
HUGE: Starbucks is taking down all Pride decorations in every store across the United States
People are sick of sexual ideology being forced down their throats, even at Starbucks
Just sell coffee!https://t.co/SbKe9cJFc1
— DC_Draino (@DC_Draino) June 13, 2023
Some Target stores have moved their “pride” sections — which feature an array of items pushing the transgender agenda on children — to a less prominent location in their facilities following a string of backlash. https://t.co/6dUecom6MK
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) May 24, 2023
At Target, the decision to pull out some pro-transgender items from the stores implied bomb threats from pro-transgender activists. But those threats are being illustrated by media outlets as coming from traditional Americans.
For example, the Washington Post‘s reporter, Jaclyn Peiser, opened her article with a lede saying:
Target stores in at least five states were evacuated this weekend after receiving bomb threats. Though no explosives were discovered, the incidents tie into the backlash over the retail chain’s Pride Month merchandise.
The Post concealed the proof that the bomb threats came from pro-transgender groups, not from ordinary Americans — in the ninth paragraph:
News outlets in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York received the same threatening email Saturday, according to South Burlington Police Chief Shawn Burke. The message, which accused Target of betraying the LGBTQ+ community, named a store in South Burlington, Vt., and ones in Plattsburgh, N.Y., and in Keene and West Lebanon, N.H.
A pro-ESG advocate bemoaned the new corporate caution in an interview with the Wall Street Journal:
“The easiest thing to do is just to stay out of the conversation and emphasize other facets of business that are going to be perceived as less controversial and more core to the traditional metrics of the business,” said Jason Jay, senior lecturer of sustainability at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
But many executives expect the present protests to die down and or to avoid public scrutiny.
These corporate executives and staff are anxious to advocate private political agendas during the work days, in part because their causes afford them with treasured prestige and gratification.
“It’s not the end of LGBT marketing. It’s the end of amateurism in LGBT marketing,” consultant Fabrice Houdart told the Wall Street Journal for a June 6 article. “I can see that my clients are more cautious … But none of them have said ‘I’m going to change my strategy or roll back what I’m doing.’”
The boycotts are most likely to go on, in part because Americans are strengthening each other via social media.
1993 was a simpler time.
Bud Light Based a whole series of commercials on Men Dressing as Women to get the "ladies night" discounts.
And everyone thought it was funny and ridiculous… pic.twitter.com/AA8aSk3w21
— Jason Robertson (@JRobFromMN) June 5, 2023
— Dewey Grant (@DewGrant) June 12, 2023
Joe Rogan's Funny Reaction to The New Bud Light Commercial😂 pic.twitter.com/WNV8vqZyuB
— STREET MEDIA TV (@streetmediatv) June 13, 2023
We now have country music stars like @RileyGreenMusic dropping Bud Light lyrics from their own songs (to cheers).
The @budlight brand is dead amongst its core consumer. Worst. Marketing. Decision. Ever.
📷: Arrowhead Stadium 7/10 opening for Luke Combs. pic.twitter.com/QkRYje4aEe
— Pete Mundo (@PeteMundo) June 11, 2023
Dutch Bros (BROS) is a privately held drive-thru coffee company with over 500 locations in 12 states. They currently have a 52-week high of $54.18 and a 52-week low of $25.45. BROS has a market capitalization of $3.5 billion and a P/E ratio of 125.4. @DutchBros #StockMarket pic.twitter.com/f3wc3bWrE9
— Capital Ventures 📚📺 (@_capitalventure) June 8, 2023
Starbucks Corporate is denying any change to their policies on Pride this year – but if that were true, why are there countless stories where workers are claiming the opposite?
Here's just some of what's been sent to us on social media: pic.twitter.com/anAqX6RTw7
— Starbucks Workers United (@SBWorkersUnited) June 13, 2023
Breaking: Starbucks BANS pride decorations from all U.S. stores.
According to the union for Starbucks employees, Starbucks Workers United:
“In the middle of Pride Month, Starbucks BANS Pride decorations in store across the United States.” pic.twitter.com/r9pcM93ASy
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) June 13, 2023