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Jon Stewart is fed up with 'hollow corporate pandering'

Grace Eliza Goodwin   

Jon Stewart is fed up with 'hollow corporate pandering'
  • Jon Stewart is done with "hollow corporate pandering."
  • He criticized corporate America, arguing companies exploit Pride Month for financial gain.

Jon Stewart wants corporations to stop their "hollow corporate pandering" and just admit that all they care about is their bottom line.

The comedian and late night host railed against corporate America on Monday night's "The Daily Show," arguing that corporations' Pride Month celebrations really just "financially exploit the decades-long struggle of gay people for acceptance and equality."

In a segment on the show, Stewart said big-name companies want to appear LGBTQ-friendly only as long as it makes them money, but when they receive backlash, they reverse course.

Target, for example, came under fire from conservative groups last summer over its Pride-themed merchandise that included "tuck-friendly" bathing suits for adults and t-shirts with the phrase "Trans people will always exist!"

In response to the backlash and threats lodged at employees, Target removed the merchandise from a number of stores across the country, which a spokesperson previously told BI was done to protect workers' "sense of safety and wellbeing."

Company shareholders even filed a lawsuit last year arguing that the company's diversity initiatives were detrimental to shareholder value.

And this year, Target slashed its Pride collection even more, reducing the number of items from more than 2,600 down to just a few dozen.

Target isn't the only company to backtrack after receiving negative feedback for promoting LGBTQ perspectives.

Conservatives boycotted Bud Light last summer after the beer maker partnered with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney for a social media promotion. The boycott even fueled a drop in sales as right-wing beer drinkers around the country abandoned the "woke" product.

And Bud Light waffled in response. Mulvaney said Bud Light never reached out to her after the backlash, criticizing the company for not standing by her. Meanwhile, Bud Light sought to win some of its customers back by offering free beer promotions.

The US CEO of Bud Light's owner, Anheuser-Busch, also followed up with a statement outlining steps the company was taking to alleviate the fallout, acknowledging that conversations about the company had "moved away from beer," and telling fans "We hear you."

Jon Stewart said that these controversies are just a few examples in a "long line of hollow corporate pandering meant to convince you that not only are corporations people, they're good people, decent people who care about the systemic ills of this great nation."

"Let's stop pretending that a corporation can even be woke or un-woke, patriotic or unpatriotic," Stewart continued. "Because corporations have but one value: shareholder value."