The Motion Picture Association, Disney, Comcast Suspend Political Contributions Following Capitol Riot
The Motion Picture Association, The Walt Disney Company, Comcast, AT&T, Hallmark and Facebook are joining the list of companies that are rearranging their political contributions and business relationships to distance themselves from President Trump and the G.O.P. the week after supporters of the president rioted at the U.S. Capitol.
Several companies said that they had decided to withhold political contributions from the group of senators that voted to object to certifying the 2020 president election results last week. Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Josh Hawley, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, Sen. Cynthia Lummis, Sen. Roger Marshall, Sen. John Kennedy, Sen. Rick Scott and Sen. Tommy Tuberville, who all sought to overturn results in Arizona and Pennsylvania, have faced backlash since.
AT&T, the parent company of WarnerMedia and DirecTV, said in a statement on Monday, “Employees on our Federal PAC Board convened a call today and decided to suspend contributions to members of Congress who voted to object to the certification of Electoral College votes last week.”
Comcast, the conglomerate that owns NBCUniversal and Sky Group, added in its own statement, “The peaceful transition of power is a foundation of America’s democracy. This year, that transition will take place among some of the most challenging conditions in modern history and against the backdrop of the appalling violence we witnessed at the U.S. Capitol last week. At this crucial time, our focus needs to be on working together for the good of the entire nation. Consistent with this view, we will suspend all of our political contributions to those elected officials who voted against certification of the electoral college votes, which will give us the opportunity to review our political giving policies and practices.”
On Tuesday, the Motion Picture Association and The Walt Disney Company announced that the two companies were taking similar measures in the aftermath of Jan. 6. “The Motion Picture Association is shocked and saddened by the horrific events at the U.S. Capitol last week. As such, we have decided to suspend for the foreseeable future all contributions to Members of Congress who voted to challenge the certification of the votes of the Electoral College,” executive vice president of U.S. government affairs Patrick Kilcur said. “What’s more, many MPA and member company employees, myself included, spent many years of our careers working in the Capitol as congressional staff. Our thoughts and prayers remain with our friends and colleagues who bravely endured last week’s assault — and continue to serve our country during these challenging times.”
A Disney spokesperson added in a statement, “The insurrection at our nation’s Capitol was a direct assault on one of our country’s most revered tenets: the peaceful transition of power. In the immediate aftermath of that appalling siege, Members of Congress had an opportunity to unite—an opportunity that some sadly refused to embrace. In light of these events, we have decided we will not make political contributions in 2021 to lawmakers who voted to reject the certification of the Electoral College votes.”
Hallmark Cards, the Kansas City-based parent company of the Hallmark Channel, trended on Twitter on Monday after news outlets reported that company’s PAC had asked Senators Hawley and Marshall to return campaign contributions. The Hill reported that HALLPAC had donated $7,000 to Hawley and $5,000 to Marshall during their campaigns. “Hallmark believes the peaceful transition of power is part of the bedrock of our democratic system, and we abhor violence of any kind,” a Hallmark spokesperson said in a statement to THR. “The recent actions of Senators Josh Hawley and Roger Marshall do not reflect our company’s values. As a result, HALLPAC requested Sens. Hawley and Marshall to return all HALLPAC campaign contributions.”
After blocking Trump from its platform through at least the end of its presidency, Facebook also stated on Monday that it would suspend all political spending until at least March, The New York Times reported. The company added that it needed to review internal policies before making further contributions to either political party.
The P.G.A. of America targeted Trump more directly in its decision since last week’s siege on the Capitol. On Sunday, the group — which organizes an annual televised championship — announced that it would end its agreement to stage its 2022 Championship at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster. PGA of America president Jim Richerson said in a statement, “The PGA of America Board of Directors voted tonight to exercise the right to terminate the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster.”
Other companies that have announced various measures suspending political donations since last week’s riot include American Express, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, BP, Dow Chemical and Blue Cross Blue Shield, according to The New York Times.
Jan. 12, 7:07 p.m. Updated with the MPA and Disney’s statements.