A US conservative organization blocked a left-wing shareholder proposal rooted in racist and sexist precepts from being presented at yesterday's annual meeting of Discovery, Inc. investors. Instead, a proposal to promote true diversity of opinion on the media giant's board of directors was available for consideration.
Even so, Discovery's management – the people behind the Discovery Channel, Food Network, TLC, HGTV and other networks and media enterprises – fought an opportunity brought by the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project (FEP) to guarantee a wide range of viewpoints that would benefit its leadership when making important business decisions. Chairman Robert J. Miron called FEP's political diversity proposal unnecessary, but still took time to laud other forms of diversity within the company and its programming.
"Discovery needs to commit to its investors, employees and viewers that it will not become a tool for one political ideology. Our proposal, which was opposed by Discovery management, was a way to ensure that the company embraced true diversity consisting of a wide range of viewpoints," said National Center Vice President David W. Almasi, who presented the FEP proposal at today's shareholder meeting. "Discovery executives regrettably leave themselves open to continued assault by left-wing activists who seek to make the company a political tool to advance their agenda."
FEP's proposal – featured on page 86 of the Discovery, Inc. proxy statement – asked for the company to describe the specific minimum qualifications for nominees to its board of directors and to create a chart or matrix of nominees' "skills, ideological perspectives and experiences."