The Top 10 most hypocritical institutions of the year — and one “Champion of Tolerance”
In the past year, there was no shortage of institutions pushing phony tolerance under the banners of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” and “environmental, social, and governance” initiatives. But 2022 was also notable for the American public pushing back on institutions and their double-standards. Here are the 10 worst offenders:
Award Winner: Disney*
Reason: In 2022, now-ousted CEO Bob Chapek gave a master class on how not to respond to woke demands. Following the passage of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill (erroneously yet ubiquitously branded by the media as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill), Chapek demurred when Disney employees demanded the company condemn the legislation, rightly asserting that “corporate statements do very little to change outcomes or minds.” Weeks later, Disney did an about-face, declaring the company would support organizations seeking to “replace” the law or have it “struck down in the courts.” Florida legislators and Governor Ron DeSantis responded by stripping Disney of special taxation and self-governance perks it’s enjoyed for decades. The public wasn’t buying Disney’s activism either — quite literally. Following a string of box office bombs, in November Disney abruptly announced Chapek would be stepping down as CEO, making way for his predecessor Bob Iger to return. Iger stepped back into the role of chief executive committing to “quiet” the obsession with cultural issues at the entertainment powerhouse and “respect” consumers of their content.
Award Winner: BlackRock*
Reason: When you follow the ESG money trail, almost all roads lead to BlackRock. The financial behemoth manages $10 trillion dollars, and has been prioritizing investments in “socially conscious” companies and those dedicated to “environmental sustainability” — except in China, a nation notorious for its rampant industrial pollution and human rights abuses. When called out on the hypocrisy, CEO Larry Fink doubled down. The result: treasurers in West Virginia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Missouri, Florida, Arkansas, Utah, and Arizona pulled state investments from BlackRock totaling $4.28 billion.
Award Winner: Twitter*
Reason: After years of subjective censorship, account suspensions, and partisan activism, Twitter was at a breaking point by October of this year when Elon Musk stepped in and took over the tech giant, ushering in a new era of free speech and open debate. He also pulled back the curtain on Twitter’s previous policy revealing the platform’s critics’ worst fears: Twitter’s staff censored accounts at the bidding of political elites.
Award Winner: Apple
Reason: Apple touts a commitment to “diversity, equity, and inclusion” in the United States, while contracting with suppliers in China using forced labor that has propelled the company to record profits. In 2022, Apple took the hypocrisy to a dangerous new level: blocking iPhone communication features in China at the behest of the Chinese Communist Party to help crush domestic protests.
Award Winner: American Express
Reason: At American Express, prejudice and hypocrisy are everywhere you want to be. In 2022, journalist Christopher Rufo exposed AmEx rules that incentivized hiring and promotion based on race and sex. Not only are such policies illegal and in violation of the company’s fiduciary duties — they’re also un-American. In 2022, NTC unveiled the “UnAmerican Express” campaign in partnership with Color Us United and Consumers’ Research, rallying grassroots action that to date has generated more than 46,000 messages to state pension trustees alerting them to the concerning personnel standards at AmEx.
Award Winner: Georgetown University
Reason: The woke mob roared into action in January following a tweet by constitutional scholar Ilya Shapiro declaring SCOTUS nominees should be selected based on accomplishment rather than race. Georgetown Law responded by suspending Shapiro as the school’s Executive Director. The university exerted no such discipline in 2018 when Professor Christine Fair wished “miserable deaths” on supporters of Justice Kavanaugh. During a months-long Georgetown “investigation” into Shapiro’s tweet, students demanded that Georgetown use the moment to develop a “reparations” package that included free food and a designated place on campus for students to cry. The fiasco prompted Shapiro to walk away from Georgetown — and its cancel-culture mob — entirely.
Award Winner: ACLU*
Reason: The Amber Heard-Johnny Depp defamation trial made news for weeks. At the heart of the case: the ACLU and a 2018 op-ed bylined by Heard that implied abuse at Depp’s hands. Courtroom testimony from ACLU Chief Operating Officer Terrence Dougherty revealed the organization was “involved in conceiving, drafting and placing” the piece. By the time all was said and done, Heard was found guilty of defaming Depp, the #MeToo movement was effectively dead, and, in the words of Richard Klein, the once-respected ACLU had become little more than “a disgraced group of attorneys.”
Award Winner: The Olympics
Reason: The International Olympic Committee bent over backwards to accommodate China’s authoritarian government during the Winter Olympics in Beijing: gaslighting about the wellbeing of tennis star Peng Shuai and refusing to condemn CCP human rights abuses (in direct contravention of the Olympic Charter and Code of Ethics). Fox News host Laura Ingraham stepped up and rallied concerned Americans to tell NBC #NotOneMinute of their time would be spent watching Olympics television coverage. With Ingraham’s amplification, NTC supporters sent more than 26,000 messages to NBC executives. The United States staged a diplomatic boycott of the Games, and ratings reached record lows for NBC.
Award Winner: School Boards
Reason: “Nonpartisan” school boards pushing far-left agendas got a wake-up call this year, as parents asserted their right to know what their children are being taught in the classroom. In-home instruction via Zoom during the COVID pandemic alerted parents to the radical gender ideology and critical race theory being taught in grade schools. This year, alarm turned into action as grassroots campaigns driven by concerned parents replaced school board members pushing cultural agendas.
Award Winner: The NBA
Reason: The world of pro sports continued its wokeward drift in 2022, but none more so than the National Basketball Association (NBA). This year, for the first time in its history, it cancelled games on Election Day. In January, when pressed on the NBA’s business dealings with China’s authoritarian government, Golden State Warriors co-owner Chamath Palihapitiya said “nobody cares” about the Uyghur genocide in China. In February, NBA player and outspoken critic of oppression in China Enes Freedom was cut from the NBA roster — a move fans said was made because Freedom exposed how U.S. corporations essentially became foreign agents of Communist China. NBA viewership continues to plummet. From 1998 – 2022, the NBA lost 66% of its viewers.
* Denotes institutions that also made the 2021 “Worst of the Woke” list.
In a year filled with double-standards, one company upheld its principles rather than bending to the demands of the woke mob
Award Winner: Penguin Books
Reason: Penguin stood strong in the face of the woke mob, shutting down their demands for book banning with a quickness. So-called human rights activists and “literary professionals” signed an open letter demanding that Penguin Random House rescind Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s book deal, but Penguin Books held firm to its commitment to publishing works that represent diverse views.
“PEN America rejects calls for the cancellation of a planned book by Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett,” the company said in a statement. “It is the role of major publishers to make available a wide array of ideas and perspectives. In so doing, they afford readers, critics, historians, and journalists insight that can help elucidate truths, expose falsehoods, and deepen our understanding of consequential individuals and events.” You can thank CEO Penguin Random House leadership for taking a principled stand here.