In recent years, virtue signaling has become a common practice among America’s most visible corporate brands, from Starbuck’s ‘pride month cups’ to Nike’s public support of controversial NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The Walt Disney Company has recently come under fire from both ends of the political spectrum with accusations of pandering to cultural “wokeness” from the right, along with simultaneous criticisms from the left for their lack of cultural representation. Walt Disney himself, a famously conservative Christian Nationalist, is sometimes credited as an early driving perpetuator in the creation of the modern notion of America as a “Christian nation.”
Can corporations have moral agency? What role do these corporations, typically driven solely by profit and shareholder obligations, play in our collective cultural morality? Do corporate brands define your personal identify?