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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

James Gunn's Firing Is What Happens When We Outsource Morality to Capitalism

Anhar Karim
Originally posted September 16, 2018

Here is an excerpt:

A study last year from Cone Communications found that 87% of consumers said they’d purchase a company’s product if said company showed that they cared about issues consumers cared about. On the flip side of that, 75% of consumers said they would not buy from a company which showed they did not care. If business executives and CEOs are following along, as they surely are, the lesson is this: If a company wants to stay on top in the modern age, and if they want to maximize their profits, then they need to beat their competitors not only with superior products but also with demonstrated, superior moral behavior.

This, on its face, does not appear horrible. Indeed, this new development has led to a lot of undeniable good. It’s this idea that gave the #MeToo movement its bite and toppled industry giants such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Les Moonves. It’s this strategy that’s led Warner Brothers to mandate an inclusion rider, Sony to diversify their comic titles, and Marvel to get their heroes to visit children in hospitals.

So how could any of this be negative?

Well, consider the other side of these attempts at corporate responsibility, the efforts that look good but help no one. What am I talking about? Consider that we recently had a major movie with a song celebrating difference and being true to yourself. That sounds good. However, the plot of the film is actually about exploiting minorities for profit. So it falls flat. Or consider that we had a woman cast in a Marvel franchise playing a role normally reserved for a man. Sounds progressive, right? Until we realize that that is also an example of a white actor trying her best to look Asian and thus limiting diversity. Also, consider that Sony decided to try and help fight back against bullying. Noble intent, but the way they went about it? They helped put up posters oddly suggesting that bullying could be stopped with sending positive emojis. Again, all of these sound sort of good on paper, but in practice, they help no one.

The info is here.