Corporate virtue-signaling is worthless. Demand action.
Actions speak louder than words. It’s a cliche, yes, but it’s important to remember as companies continue to virtue signal in the wake of events that have our society, and their consumership, passionate. There are many companies whose PR teams have come out of the woodworks recently. Let’s take Netflix. They’ve dedicated an entire genre to Black Lives Matter1, which is great; there’s an issue going on in our country, and the sentiment is a positive one. Additionally, they said in a tweet2 that “To be silent is to be complicit. Black lives matter. We have a platform, and we have a duty to our Black members, employees, creators and talent to speak up.” And I absolutely agree with that. But Netflix has a history of doing the exact opposite. Last month, a Netflix original “If Only” was canceled in Turkey because the Turkish government didn’t like the inclusion of a gay character3. A Turkish official tweeted that Netflix should “show greater sensitivity to Turkish culture and art with deeper co-operation” in the future. And Netflix caved. When asked, they delivered a non-answer, saying they remain “deeply committed” to their Turkish subscribers. 3 I guess that doesn’t include the gay ones. I guess that their silence on Turkey’s unequal treatment of gay couples4, LGBT military discrimination5, and Pride censorship6ought to count as them being “complicit.” Which, judging by their compliance to the homophobic demands of Turkey, they are. What’s the difference in these two cases? LGBT rights are not popular in Turkey. The surge in Black Lives Matter advocacy in wake of the killing of George Floyd, however, is popular in America. Netflix does not care about Black lives other than the $9 they get from every BLM supporter that streams movies. Neither do any of the other hypocritical companies that claim to support social justice. They are in it for the money their virtue signaling brings. People who truly care do not wait until an issue is popular: they play a part in making it popular.
1) https://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/81299227?so=su 2) https://twitter.com/netflix/status/1266829242353893376?lang=en 3) https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-53489296 4) https://outleadership.com/content/uploads/2018/10/OL-CEO-Brief_Turkey.pdf 5) https://archive.vn/20120904000221/http://www.medyatava.com/haber.asp?id=91272 6) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/istanbul-lgbt-march-banned-security-concerns-170624181917813.html
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