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When actors choose to use their freedom of speech to offend half the country while promoting a movie, shouldn’t we expect the company making the movie to feel responsible for damage control?

In a commentary published by the Daily Caller, Free Enterprise Project Associate Stefan Padfield argues that Disney should consider its fiduciary duty to shareholders when deciding if and how to respond to one of its lead Marvel actors insulting conservatives:

Famed actor and producer Samuel L. Jackson effectively told Rolling Stone that conservatives are racist rednecks. In light of the fact that Jackson was promoting his latest Marvel Universe project at the time, does Disney’s silence in response make them complicit in that hate speech?

Stefan Padfield

Stefan Padfield

To put that question in context, perhaps ironically, in 2019 Jackson asserted that: “[I]f you’re not saying anything, then you’re complicit.” By that standard, Disney can’t avoid this controversy – we’ll know where Disney stands either because they tell us explicitly or because they say nothing. Hopefully, Disney will at least try to convince us that it doesn’t hate half the country….

To be sure, Jackson is entitled to his opinion – and he has made clear that he doesn’t care what people think about his views. But Disney executives and directors can respect Jackson’s right to express his personal views without violating their fiduciary duties to Disney’s shareholders. Specifically, they should be assessing the risk posed to Disney’s bottom line by having one of their lead actors espouse hatred of half the country while promoting a Disney film, along with the risk of appearing complicit in that hate speech if they remain silent. Otherwise they may go the way of Bud Light…

Read Stefan’s commentary in full here.

Author: The National Center