In a bold move against what they perceive as Disney’s woke liberal agenda, South Carolina has decided to divest its $105 million investment portfolio from the entertainment giant. State Treasurer Curtis Loftis hopes to turn this symbolic action into a snowballing movement, demonstrating their opposition to what they believe is an imbalance in America.
Although the financial impact of this divestment is minimal for both the state and Disney, Loftis sees it as another repudiation of the company. He believes that it is essential to stand up for what one believes is right, even if it means being the first to face criticism. Loftis states, “You step out front, stand up for what you think is right, and others often follow.”
The decision to sever ties with Disney was prompted by the company’s decision to pull advertising from X, a social media platform, due to antisemitic content from users and owner Elon Musk. Loftis saw this as an opportune moment to distance South Carolina from Disney, which conservatives accuse of silencing free speech. He criticizes the collaboration between Disney and other major corporations in boycotting X, claiming that it amounts to billionaires pushing people out of their free speech space.
Disney, however, has not responded to requests for comment regarding South Carolina’s divestment.
Over the next two years, South Carolina will allow its $105 million in Disney bonds to mature and redirect its funds to other investments under Loftis’ management. Although Loftis is evaluating divestments from similar companies, he declines to disclose their names.
Disney has faced criticism from conservatives on multiple fronts. In addition to their alleged suppression of free speech, the company’s support for climate conscious ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investing has drawn ire from conservatives.
Regarding the antisemitic content on Musk’s social media platform, Loftis defends the entrepreneur and insists that there is no antisemitic intent behind his actions. He points out that he has personally invested $150 million in Israeli bonds, showcasing his support for Judaism and Zionism.
Critics of Loftis’ decision include South Carolina state Senator Deon Tedder, who believes a political agenda drives divestment. However, Loftis dismisses this accusation, emphasizing that the financial move will not cost the state any money. He attributes the politicization of the issue to the left, mentioning the introduction of ESG and diversity, equity, and inclusion as examples.
South Carolina’s divestment from Disney is just one instance in a broader movement that seeks to challenge what some conservatives perceive as a liberal agenda permeating various aspects of society. As the debate surrounding free speech, political affiliation, and corporate responsibility intensifies, how these conflicts will shape the future landscape remains to be seen.