09 May 2018 Investor Alert: Discovery, Inc. Shareholders Advised to Reject Liberal Resolution Aimed at Applying Affirmative Action to Boardroom Selection Process
Free Enterprise Project Calls Nathan Cummings Foundation’s Board Diversity Shareholder Proposal “Racist and Sexist”
New York, N.Y. / Washington, D.C. – Ahead of tomorrow’s annual meeting of Discovery, Inc. shareholders, investors are being advised by the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP) – the nation’s leading proponent of free-market investor activism –to reject a shareholder proposal designed to force the entertainment company to apply affirmative action-style policies to its board of directors selection process.
Proposal #4 on Discovery’s proxy statement, “Stockholder Proposal to Require Diverse Candidates for New Director Nominees,” is sponsored by the Nathan Cummings Foundation and supported by the As You Sow network. Set to be voted on at Thursday’s meeting in New York City, the proposal calls for the company to ensure that any new board candidate pool includes female and minority candidates.
“Proponents of the Discovery shareholder resolution made slight attempts to hide their racist and sexist intents, but it’s clear to any objective observer,” said National Center General Counsel and FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq. “It appears that liberal groups such as the Nathan Cummings Foundation have very little understanding of the true meaning of diversity. To many leftists, diversity begins and ends with an individual’s outward appearance and gender identity. What color is their skin, and which gender do they ascribe to themselves? That’s what many on the left look for when they seek diversity. That’s racist and sexist.
“Affirmative action has been an unmitigated disaster for higher education,” continued Danhof. “Now leftists want to take that same failed social experiment and impose it on corporate boardrooms. Investors should reject the Nathan Cumming Foundation proposal and any others like it. These proposals serve no business purpose.
“True diversity lies in diversity of thought. To the extent that Discovery – or any other corporation – strives for board diversity, it should be seeking individuals with differing beliefs,” Danhof noted. “There are certain boards, particularly in Silicon Valley, that are packed with coastal liberal elites. These boards are prone to groupthink, and that can be bad for investors.”
FEP representatives have participated in 17 shareholder meetings in 2018.
Launched in 2007, the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project focuses on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. Over the past four years alone, FEP representatives have participated in over 100 shareholder meetings – advancing free-market ideals about health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and other important public policy issues. As the leading voice for conservative-minded investors, it annually files more than 90 percent of all right-of-center shareholder resolutions. Dozens of liberal organizations, however, annually file more than 95 percent of all policy-oriented shareholder resolutions and continue to exert undue influence over corporate America.
FEP activity has been covered by media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Drudge Report, Business Insider, National Public Radio and SiriusXM. FEP’s work was prominently featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassel’s 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).
Danhof’s latest commentary, on the recent Walt Disney shareholder meeting where his actions resulted in Joy Behar’s public apology for suggesting Christianity is a mental illness, is available here.
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 60,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for email updates here. Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.