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What changes are companies making in response to George Floyd protests?

06/11/2020 | 01:26pm EDT
Demonstrators march across Brooklyn Bridge against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd in Brooklyn New York

The corporate response to a wave of protests over the treatment of African Americans has included pledges to increase diversity, donations to civil rights groups and, in some cases, changes in policies or practices long sought by critics. Here is a sampling:

Walmart said on June 10 it would no longer keep "multicultural hair and beauty products" in locked display cases at any of its stores. Critics had said doing so suggested consumers of those products are more likely to shoplift. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-walmart-policy/walmart-to-stop-keeping-multicutural-beauty-products-in-locked-display-cases-idUSKBN23I0DL

NASCAR on June 10 banned the Confederate flag at all its car racing tracks and events, saying the symbol of white segregationists "runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans." https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-minneapolis-police-motor-nascar/nascar-bans-confederate-flag-from-race-tracks-idUKKBN23H36T

Amazon.com Inc on June 10 imposed a one-year moratorium on police use of its facial recognition product, Rekognition, which critics say is more likely to misidentify people with darker skin and more likely to be used in minority communities. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amazon-com-facial-recognition/amazon-pauses-police-use-of-its-facial-recognition-tech-for-a-year-idUSKBN23H3EO

Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square, announced on June 9 that June 19, or Juneteenth, would become a paid company-wide holiday every year for employees of both companies. The date commemorates President Abraham Lincoln's June 19, 1865 Emancipation Declaration belatedly announcing the end of slavery in the United States. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-twitter-square-juneteenth/twitter-square-to-make-june-19-a-holiday-to-support-racial-diversity-idUSKBN23H29K

L'Oreal on June 9 rehired Munroe Bergdorf, a British black transgender model it sacked in 2017 after she described all white people as racist. The French cosmetics company offered Bergdorf a seat on a newly formed UK diversity and inclusion advisory board, a role she accepted. https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-racism-lgbt/loreal-offers-new-job-to-black-transgender-model-sacked-over-race-remarks-idUSL8N2DM4GP

HBO said on June 9 it would pull from its HBO Max streaming service the Oscar-winning 1939 film "Gone with the Wind," long decried for its racist depictions of blacks in the antebellum South. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-at-t-hbo-max/hbo-max-pulls-gone-with-the-wind-over-racist-portrayals-idUSKBN23H27V

The Paramount Network, owned by ViacomCBS Inc, said on June 9 it would discontinue the reality show "Cops" after 33 years on air. Critics say the show has glorified police violence. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-at-t-hbo-max/hbo-max-pulls-gone-with-the-wind-over-racist-portrayals-idUSKBN23H27V

International Business Machines Corp said on June 8 it would no longer sell or research facial recognition tools that critics contend are biased against people of color. https://www.reuters.com/article/ibm-facial-recognition/ibm-gets-out-of-facial-recognition-business-idUSL4N2DM00L

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on June 5 said the league was "wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier," an apparent reference to its opposition to players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police treatment of African Americans, a protest initiated by quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016. "We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter." https://www.reuters.com/article/us-minneapolis-police-nfl/we-were-wrong-nfl-commissioner-regrets-stance-on-player-protests-condemns-racism-idUSKBN23C36B

Bank of America on June 2 said it would spend $1 billion over four years to address racial and economic inequality. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-minneapolis-police-bank-of-america/bank-of-america-pledges-1-billion-to-address-racial-economic-inequality-idUSKBN2391NO

(Reporting by Greg Mitchell; Editing by Dan Grebler)

ę Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ANTHEM, INC. 0.58% 379.07 Delayed Quote.18.20%
BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION 0.05% 39.13 Delayed Quote.29.03%
INCLUSIVE INC. -2.42% 846 End-of-day quote.182.31%
MAX CO., LTD. -1.10% 1987 End-of-day quote.38.08%
SQUARE, INC. 0.43% 251.3 Delayed Quote.14.97%
VIACOMCBS INC. -0.51% 38.66 Delayed Quote.4.29%
WALMART INC. 0.20% 143.02 Delayed Quote.-0.98%
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