More Corporate Controversy

After political assaults on the likes of Bud Light, Target, and others, conservative stalwart Chick-fil-a is one of the latest companies to become subject to politically charged backlash after rolling out its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies. At the center of the controversy is the political divide over DEI (and what has been criticized as “woke marketing”). Of particular interest in this case is that many of Chick-fil-a’s long-time supporters are the ones now calling for a boycott.

In a related story, the NHL banned specialty warm-up jerseys, often used to promote various causes and marginalized groups (related, in part, to the refusal of some players to wear them and the political backlash that followed). The ban includes a variety of longstanding causes that will lose out on fundraising jersey sales (e.g., NHL Fights Cancer, Military Appreciation Night, Women’s History Month).

Business Takeaway: DEI has become a buzzword in marketing and political circles. It has also played a role in the Supreme Court decisions on affirmative action and website design (and other “creative” industries). Stay tuned for news on how DEI policies and training morph in this new environment.