Which companies helped us and which screwed us re: the TN hate law

Nissan, FedEx, AT&T;, Comcast, DuPont, Pfizer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Caterpillar, KPMG, Whirlpool, Embraer, Alcoa, and United HealthCare all, through their local reps in Tennessee, helped repeal the Nashville civil rights ordinance.  Once they were informed that we caught them red-handed, last Thursday, here’s how the companies responded – from helpful to totally useless.


AlcoaIssued statement on Friday, unequivocal, opposing bill and supporting veto. Only company to support veto.  Set the standard for action.

Nissan – Nissan issued an equivocal statement last Friday, but then issued a much better one late Monday opposing the legislation, right before the governor signed it. To Nissan’s credit, I heard rumors that they did much more behind the scenes, so I’m positioning them pretty high up on the list in terms of helpfulness. @NissanNews


UnitedHealthIssues statement 24 hours before governor signs bill. Opposes bill (good) but won’t say anything about veto. Though they don’t say anything about contacting the governor, issuing the statement 24 hours ago at least makes the statement useful. Twitter: @uhcfeds

WhirlpoolIssues statement two and a half hours before governor signs bill, opposes legislation, says will inform Governor’s office of their position. They waited way too late to have much of an impact, but the statement was at least good. Twitter: @WhirlpoolCorp

Dupont – Issues statement opposing bill and saying they’ll contact governor, one hour before the governor signs the bill, so it’s totally useless. They waited until the last minute and ended up helping us not at all. I will give them points, barely, for at least finally saying the right thing. Trust me, when you see what the other companies did, you’ll understand why Dupont falls comparatively high up on the list, even though they were basically useless. Twitter: @DuPont_News


KPMG – Issues statement today saying they oppose the bill, five hours before the governor signs it, but says nothing about contacting the governor or supporting a veto. Kind of late and not terribly helpful. Twitter: @KPMG

AT&T;Issued statement on Friday that didn’t take a position on the bill or the veto. So they weighed in early, but didn’t really saying anything. At least by weighing in early they put pressure on other companies to at least issue some statement, so I give them some credit. Twitter: @ATT

FedExIssued a statement last Friday that didn’t even take a position on the bill nor on the veto. Kind of useless, but at least it was an early statement, which at least showed they were worried, unlike some other companies that refused to say anything (Caterpillar), or waited until the last minute when it was useless (Comcast). Twitter: @FedExNews @FedExDelivers


ComcastIssues statement two hours before governor signs law, opposes legislation, refuses to say anything about veto. Not very helpful two hours before the governor signs the bill into law. There’s no excuse for waiting nearly four days to issue a statement about a civil rights issue – that’s really quite abominable.  Twitter: @comcastcares

Blue CrossThey waited until Huff Post got on their tail earlier today to issue a statement, then couldn’t even be bothered to issue an original statement – they clearly cribbed the earlier statements that other companies made (which looked like talking points they received and just copied).  And their statement never even says whether they do or don’t support the bill.  The only reason I don’t give them a “totally useless” is because at least when scared to death by Amanda Terkel they said something.

PfizerPfizer issued a statement after Amanda got to them as well.  Their statement is totally useless, doesn’t take a specific position on the bill or on the veto.  Simply that they don’t generically suport discriminatory legislation.  (Except you did via the Chamber of Commerce.) Twitter: @pfizer

Embraer – One hour before the governor signed it they issued a statement to HuffPost saying they opposed the bill.  Nice, but no mention of support for the veto, and you waited until the last minute until a reporter called you.  Pretty useless. Twitter: @embraeraeronaut

TN Chamber of Commerce
 – Issues statement opposing the legislation 20 seconds before we find out the Governor has just signed the legislation. Coincidence? Doubtful. It looks like the Chamber timed their statement with the governor’s signature so as not to embarrass the governor. Thanks.


Caterpillar: Couldn’t be bothered to even issue a statement. Nothing at all. Their local employee helped to repeal your civil rights and they could not be bothered to even acknowledge it. Twitter: @CaterpillarInc

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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