New Tolerance Campaign Announces 2023 “Worst of the Woke” Awards
Amazon, Bud Light, the Academy Awards, and More Among Top 10 Worst Woke Offenders of 2023
Nonprofit watchdog the New Tolerance Campaign (NTC) has released its third annual “Worst of the Woke” list — a look back at the year’s most outrageous and disappointing examples of woke culture gone wild.
NTC’s 2023 roundup features the top 10 institutions that tried to foist woke politics onto the weary public, with leaders across diverse industries — from retail to entertainment to finance — landing on the list.
This year’s theme? Backlash from fed-up consumers. Consider, for example, the massive boycott that led the CEO of Target to admit that the retailer’s woke virtue signaling caused its first quarterly sales drop in six years. Or the fans that catapulted Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” to the top of the charts after Country Music Television pulled it off the air.
“In 2023, mainstream institutions leveraged everything from books to beer to promote their woke agendas,” said NTC president Gregory T. Angelo. “However, this year saw a tidal wave of consumers using their wallets and voices to push back against the woke mob, with staggering results. Americans looking for a New Year’s resolution should pledge to keep fighting back against the woke invasion of our country.”
Check out NTC’s top 10 worst woke offenders — and one “Champion of Tolerance” — below:
Award Winner: Bud Light / Anheuser-Busch
Reason: For decades, Bud Light had bragging rights as America’s best-selling beer — until April, when an ill-advised marketing campaign with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney went viral for all the wrong reasons. Bud Light’s core customer base felt abandoned, and in turn they abandoned the brand. A sustained boycott led to sales falling a whopping 17%. Then, after Anheuser-Busch executives expressed remorse for the promotion, the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ lobbying organization, stripped the company of its 100% rating as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality.” Anheuser-Busch’s attempt at virtue signaling made them everyone’s enemy. Will the brand ever recover?
Award Winner: Target
Reason: Retail giant Target hasn’t been shy about marketing to LGBTQ consumers during “Pride Month” in June, but this year, after word spread that the brand was pushing “pride-themed” clothing for babies and kids, shoppers drew the line. In May, CEO Brian Cornell made the audacious assertion that pushing divisive social issues at the company is “the right thing for society”; by August he was explaining to upset investors that the company’s dalliance with social issues led to a “negative reaction” from consumers. Target experienced its first quarterly drop in sales in six years.
Award Winner: Bank of America
Reason: Financial giant Bank of America went “full woke” in 2023, instituting race-based home financing requirements and denying loans to gun manufacturers and the fossil fuel industry. If that wasn’t enough, the company implemented a work reeducation program that insists America is a “racialized society” and encourages employes to be “woke at work.”
Award Winner: The Academy Awards
Reason: The Academy Awards implemented onerous “inclusion” standards for filmmakers and movie studios to abide by if they wish to be eligible for “Best Picture” honors. The list is quite something to behold. Quotas that demand that “at least one of the lead actors must be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.” In addition, “30% of actors in secondary roles be from underrepresented groups such as LGBT+ and people with cognitive or physical disabilities,” and the plot must “center around an underrepresented group.” It’s estimated that of the 95 Best Pictures in the history of the Oscars, over half would not qualify under these new thresholds. Gone with the Wind, Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Singin’ in the Rain, The Sound of Music, The Godfather, Star Wars, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, and Schindler’s List all would have been ineligible for top honors. Even recent critically acclaimed movies such as 1917 and The Irishman wouldn’t make the cut.
Award Winner: Country Music Television
Reason: Crime has run rampant in America’s cities. Enter country singer Jason Aldean, who wrote “Try That in a Small Town” to contrast the values gap between metropolitan and rural America. After race scolds slammed the song for being a “pro-lynching” anthem, Country Music Television folded fast and yanked the music video off the air. Despite the ban, “Try That in a Small Town” went on to become a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
Award Winner: Southern Poverty Law Center
Reason: The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), long known for frivolously flagging groups as “extremists,” was suddenly silent when Hamas terrorists slaughtered more than 1,200 Jewish civilians on October 7 in the worst mass-killing of Jews since the Holocaust. The group shrugged off critics, claiming that it was “outside of our purview and expertise to comment on international events” — despite loudly issuing statements on international events in the past. When CEO Margaret Huang finally spoke up nearly a month later, the schizophrenic statement barely touched on the attack, striking an “All Lives Matter” tone. Remember when we were told saying that was offensive?
Award Winner: Puffin Books
Reason: Wokeness rewrites history to fit political ends. That was literally the case this year, when Puffin Books announced it rewrote “controversial” elements of long-established Roald Dahl children’s classics such as Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, and Matilda. An “enormously fat” boy became simply “enormous,” “Cloud-Men” were now “Cloud-People.” In some cases, entire paragraphs were inserted into books that Dahl had never written. After a public outcry and harsh critiques from literary leaders, the company announced it would continue to publish the original texts.
Award Winner: Amazon
Reason: The internet shopping giant proved that “Big Brother” is closer than you may think. After an Amazon employee claimed to hear a racist remark while making a delivery, the company shut down the owner’s smart home. The kicker? The homeowner is black, wasn’t home, and has video showing the delivery driver wearing headphones at the time of the incident. Even after showing proof of his innocence to Amazon, it took the company over a week to unlock his devices.
Award Winner: Morningstar
Reason: Chicago investment firm Morningstar made headlines for its discriminatory appraisal of Jewish businesses after announcing a “socially conscious” approach to investments. Under the Morningstar Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) rules, Israel found itself on the same blacklist as China, Russia, and Iran. In June, Florida’s State Board of Administration announced it had open an investigation into the firm’s discriminatory methodology.
Award Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers
Reason: The Los Angeles Dodgers stirred up controversy by inviting the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to receive the team’s “Community Hero Award.” Fans seethed, noting the group was notorious for dressing like nuns in clown makeup and mocking Christianity in the name of “charity.” Protesters descended on Dodger Stadium and the franchise quickly disinvited the group, only to reinvite them days later. In attempting to please everyone, the Dodgers angered fans on all sides.
2023 CHAMPION OF TOLERANCE
In a year filled with double-standards, one institution upheld its principles rather than bending to the demands of the woke mob
Award Winner: Stanford Law School
Reason: When Judge Kyle Duncan spoke before a meeting of Stanford’s Federalist Society in March, he was met with the heckler’s veto. Unhinged students sabotaged the event, with the school’s associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) leading the charge. At a time when speech at universities is under assault like never before by “safe space” mobs, the response of Stanford Law Dean Jenny Martinez was bold. She published a 10-page public letter condemning the censorial throng and mandated free speech training for all Stanford Law students. In an age where “cancel culture” advocates number too many and defenders of viewpoint diversity too few, Dean Martinez stood out from the crowd with a courageous, principled, and forceful commitment to the Stanford Law’s stated values.