10 May 2018 Free Enterprise Project Scores Victory Over Boardroom Affirmative Action Push
Discovery Shareholders Take National Center for Public Policy Research’s Advice and Reject Liberal Effort to Force Race and Sex Paradigm Upon Board Selection Process
New York, N.Y. / Washington, D.C. – Discovery, Inc. shareholders, following the advice of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP), today rejected a resolution designed to force the entertainment company to apply affirmative action policies to its board of directors selection process.
The Free Enterprise Project – the nation’s leading proponent of free-market investor activism – opposed Discovery, Inc. shareholder proposal #4, entitled “Stockholder Proposal to Require Diverse Candidates for New Director Nominees.” Sponsored by the Nathan Cummings Foundation and supported by the As You Sow network, the proposal called for the company to ensure that any new board candidate pool include female and minority candidates.
“Today is a good day for proponents of true diversity and a bad day for liberal bean counters who seek to instill institutional racism, in the form of affirmative action, in all aspects of American life,” said National Center General Counsel and FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq., who attended today’s shareholder meeting in New York City and urged his fellow investors to reject the proposal. “Social justice warriors should have no part in a corporate board’s selection process. Likewise, racist and sexist paradigms should have no part in a corporate board’s selection process. Following our advice, Discovery shareholders delivered that message today.”
Yesterday, the National Center issued a press release highlighting the insidious racial and sexist nature of the proposal and calling upon all Discovery investors to vote against the resolution.
At today’s meeting, Danhof addressed the company’s board, management and investors. He explained:
Submitted by the Nathan Cummings Foundation and promoted by the As You Sow network, Proposal #4 seeks to recreate the board selection process using primarily a gender and race paradigm. Our board should appoint the most qualified candidates – period. To suggest that the board must consider sex and skin color is sexist and racist. Let’s vote against racism and sexism…
Today’s social justice warriors seem to have forgotten what the Civil Rights Era was really all about and what the word diversity means. Martin Luther King, Jr. sought a future in which we would judge one another on the content of our character and not by the color of our skin. The Nathan Cummings Foundation and the As You Sow network seek to upend that noble goal and return to the era when folks focused primarily on a person’s outward appearance. That’s an insidious approach that damages King’s legacy.
We encourage the company to seek board members with a diversity of thought, opinion and experience. Any other pursuit in the name of diversity is a racist distortion of the word.
Please vote no on Proposal #4.
Danhof’s full statement, as prepared for delivery, is available here.
“To many liberals, it appears that diversity begins and ends with an individual’s appearance. Many objective measures show that affirmative action in higher education continues to harm many of the minority students that it is supposedly designed to help,” said Danhof. “Despite this, groups such as the Nathan Cummings Foundation are seeking to extend these types of policies to corporate America. We helped stop that insidious effort today. However, the movement for corporate affirmative action is well-funded and well-coordinated. Companies need to stand firm in the face of these efforts, and investors need to continue to vote against such resolutions.”
FEP representatives have participated in 18 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.