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Disney's largest investors are behind the company's woke stance: 'Woke Inc.' author

'There’s a quieter undercurrent here, too,' Vivek Ramaswamy said, highlighting how Disney’s three largest shareholders, who own a combined 15.3% of the company, are BlackRock, Vanguard Group and State Street.

Disney's largest investors are behind the company's woke stance: Woke Inc. author
Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation
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Disney’s largest investors have become a driving force in encouraging the massive entertainment corporation to oppose Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ anti-grooming legislation.

According to Woke Inc. author Vivek Ramaswamy, whose book argues that corporations should not be involved in social politics, some of the investors responsible for the cashflow of Disney and other corporations are largely responsible for the companies’ foray into wokeness and the promotion of radical progressive ideology.

Disney has put itself front and centre of the woke effort to drive back Florida’s education legislation, which is designed to empower parents and prohibit teachers from grooming young children into woke “Queer Theory” gender ideology and transgenderism.

Falsely branded as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by progressive activists, the bill faced little initial opposition from Disney, which remains one of Florida’s largest corporations. Under pressure, the company and its subsidiaries like Marvel Entertainment adopted a radical stance against the bill, and has publicly opposed its implementation through statements released on social media and elsewhere.

Speaking to Fox News, Ramaswamy said one talking point on Disney’s decision to lobby against the Florida law is that the company’s CEO, Bob Chapek, was forced by activist employees who raised a stink over Disney’s initial neutrality on the matter.

On the contrary, Ramaswamy asserts that the company was moved by more than internal protests.

“There’s a quieter undercurrent here, too,” Ramaswamy said, highlighting how Disney’s three largest shareholders, who own a combined 15.3% of the company, are BlackRock, Vanguard Group and State Street.

The firms, which are among the largest asset managers in the United States, are directly influencing decisions made at the executive level at the entertainment company. Ramaswamy asserts that the managers “quietly tell them that exactly these are the kinds of social agendas that they want to see them push.”

“Actually, if you’re a CEO in a public company today, you find yourself sandwiched not just between your progressive, woke employees. ...It’s that when you look at your alleged bosses, the ‘shareholders,’ they’re actually quietly whispering in your ear that they want to see you doing the same things too,” he said, Washington Examiner reported. “So it runs far deeper, and it’s far more complicated.”

The publication reported:

Ramaswamy pointed out that Disney’s three largest shareholders are unlike an individual investor (for example, Elon Musk, who just bought a massive stake in Twitter), but are composed of everyday people who entrust institutions, such as BlackRock, Vanguard Group, and State Street, to manage their money. 

He went on to say that the money managers are “betraying their true clients” by pushing Disney and other companies to wade into the realm of politics and stakeholder prioritization.

Stakeholder capitalism discards the understanding that the singular purpose of a corporation is to serve its shareholders and instead emphasizes providing value to customers, employees, suppliers, and communities. Recent years have seen a shift on Wall Street toward embracing stakeholder capitalism in addition to a focus on environmental, social, and governance standards. 

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