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Companies like Netflix, McDonald's, and Target are speaking out amid the George Floyd protests — and some are actually taking action

FILE PHOTO: Protesters rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Portland, Oregon, U.S. May 31, 2020. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester/File Photo
  • Protests are spreading through the US after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for over 8 minutes.
  • Many companies are weighing in on the protests, but not all of them have announced specific actions, donations, or internal changes.
  • Read more to see how companies and their leaders are responding.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Protests erupted across the US after the death of George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and now companies are speaking out.
From Amazon to Glossier to Snap, CEOs and companies are releasing statements in support of justice and racial equality.
While some companies detailed donations or internal changes they would be making, others have yet to, so we sifted through the statements and pressed companies for specifics in any instances where vague language or promises have been made.
Here's a list of companies who have come out with statements, letters, and responses related to the death of George Floyd and the resulting protests — and what they're actually doing.
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YouTube said it would pledge $1 million "in support of efforts to address social justice."



The words: YouTube took a stand against racism and violence, but the announcement was met with an array of criticism because of YouTube's track record of permitting racist speech on the platform. Research showed YouTube's algorithms often recommend far-right content. The platform said in June 2019 it would strive to adjust algorithms and monitor content.
The action: YouTube will give the $1 million donation to The Center for Policing Equity, an organization that works with law enforcement to promote more equitable practices based on the organization's research.



McDonald's President Joe Erlinger wrote a post on LinkedIn expressing the company's commitment to inclusion, and its CEO said it would hold a town hall.



The words: Erlinger emphasized the company's values of diversity but did not delineate specific actions of how the company planned to support African American communities or people of color. He did however, ask for ideas from employees.
"I encourage you to write me directly with thoughts and ideas as to how McDonald's can reinforce its commitment to our communities and share anything else that's on your mind," Erlinger wrote.
Chris Kempczinski, CEO of McDonald's, wrote a letter to employees acknowledging the protests igniting around the country.
The action: The CEO's letter noted that the company would hold a town hall for US-based employees.
"I'd like to hear from you on the ways we can continue to open our own doors more fully while driving change beyond our Golden Arches," Kempczinski wrote.






Amazon released a message on Twitter Sunday stating, "The inequitable and brutal treatment of Black people in our country must stop."



The words: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also shared an essay on Instagram about what it's like trying to maintain professionalism amid racial trauma.
The action: Bezos recommended managers and leaders take time to read the essay, as first seen in an article on GeekWire.
While Amazon's message spoke of "the fight against systemic racism and injustice," the company did not release a plan or details of how it will work to combat racism and injustice.




Snap CEO Evan Spiegel called for a reparations commission in the US to confront racial injustice, as well as taxes that address racial injustice, according to a memo obtained by The Information.



The words: "Economic inequality in America has reached levels unseen for nearly a century, people of color cannot visit a grocery store or go for a jog without fear of being murdered without consequence, and put simply, the American experiment is failing," Spiegel said in a memo to his employees.
The action: Spiegel notes that Snap will donate to organizations that support equality and justice but emphasizes that, "Private philanthropy can patch holes, or accelerate progress, but it alone cannot cross the deep and wide chasm of injustice."



Target CEO Brian Cornell released a statement delineating how the company would address the situation in Minneapolis after a Target was looted amid protests and other Target locations were damaged.



The words: "It's hard to see now, but the day will come for healing—and our team will join our hearts, hands and resources in that journey," Target CEO Brian Cornell wrote. "Even now, Target leaders are assembling community members, partners and local officials to help identify what more we can do together and what resources are required to help families, starting right here in Minnesota."
The action: The company's actions include providing first aid, food, and basic needs in the community as well as supporting employees at shutdown stores by continuing to pay workers for 14 days.
When it comes to longterm change Target signed a letter from the Children's Minnesota committing to address structural racism.



Skincare and beauty company Glossier announced it would donate $500,000 to Black Lives Matter, The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, The Equal Justice Initiative, The Marsha P. Johnson Institute, and We the Protesters.



The words: "We stand in solidarity with the fight against systemic racism, white supremacy, the historic oppression of the Black community," Glossier wrote.
The action: The company also said it would be giving $500,000 in grants to Black-owned beauty businesses.




Starbucks posted a letter from the company's CEO Kevin Johnson that highlighted conversations between the company's partners about racial inequality and injustice.



The words: "While we may not have all the answers, we know the path forward requires these courageous conversations with one another," Johnson wrote. "As I shared at the close of today's meeting it is, in part, our promise to one another as partners to live our mission and values daily."
The action: Starbucks is having conversations with its partners about the topic of racial injustice, but it has not detailed any further actions.



Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook Sunday pledging $10 million dollars toward fighting racial injustice.



The words: "The pain of the last week reminds us how far our country has to go to give every person the freedom to live with dignity and peace," Zuckerberg wrote.
The action: The Chan Zuckerberg foundation gives $40 million annually to organizations that strive to combat racial injustice.
But the donations have not painted over the public — and internal — outcry that Facebook will take no action on Trump's social media post that appeared to intimidate protesters in Minneapolis with the threat of military action.




Disney released a statement declaring it stood for inclusion and supported black communities.


The words: "We stand against racism," Disney wrote, "We stand for inclusion. We stand with our fellow Black employees, storytellers, creators, and the entire Black community. We must unite and speak out."
The action: Disney's statement did not include any specific steps the company would take against racism.
Business Insider reached out to Disney about any specific actions the company is taking in light of its statement, but the company did not respond with details immediately.



TikTok releases statement committing to diversity after hashtags such as #BlackLivesMatter views were temporarily hidden from the platform.


The words: TikTok released an apology statement after hashtags relating to #BlackLivesMatter and #GeorgeFloyd appeared to be receiving 0 views, when in fact there were billions of views.
The company apologized and said the issue was due to a technical glitch and also released a statement in support of both #BlackLivesMatter and #GeorgeFloyd.
The action: In a blog post, the company pledged to donate $3 million from the company's Community Relief Fund to non-profits that help the black community dealing with COVID-19, noting that black communities have been disproportionately affected. It is also donating $1 million toward fighting racial injustice and inequality, although TikTok has not yet specified which organizations it would be supporting.



Apple CEO Tim Cook said "justice is how we heal" in a post on Twitter, and pledged to donate in a memo to employees.



The words: Cook's post also paraphrased a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. stating "the negative peace which is the absence of tension is no substitute for the positive peace which is the presence of justice."
The action: Cook wrote in a memo to employees that Apple donated to organizations including the non-profit Equal Justice Initiative, according to the New York Post.



Netflix aligns its support with the Black Lives Matter movement.


The words: "To be silent is to be complicit," Netflix wrote on Twitter. "Black lives matter. We have a platform, and we have a duty to our Black members, employees, creators, and talent to speak up."
The action: Netflix's tweet did not highlight how the company intends to fulfill its duty to the black community.
Business Insider reached out to Netflix about any specific actions the company is taking in light of its statement, but the company did not respond with details immediately.



Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella released a statement Thursday advocating for change through empathy.



The words: "My feeling is that we can start by checking in with each other, ask all colleagues how they're doing and what they need, have empathy for what others are feeling," Nadella said in Thursday's statement.
The action: Beyond his remarks about checking in with other employees, Nadella also highlighted Microsoft's work with the Criminal Justice Reform Initiative. Criminal Justice Reform Initiative strives to support partnerships that work on policing reforms. Nadella did not mention any additional efforts Microsoft would adopt.



Uber announced it would give $1 million to the Equal Justice Initiative and The Center for Policing Equity.


The words: "We stand with the Black community," Uber said in a series out Tweets. "We stand with those peacefully protesting injustice, hatred, and racism."
The action: The company's declaration was accompanied by the $1 million donation to the Equal Justice Initiative, which works to end mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and racial inequality, as well as The Center for Policing Equity, which works with law enforcement to promote more equitable practices based on the organization's research.



Nike released a new ad urging for social change.


The words: "Let's all be part of the change," Nike's post on Twitter said, accompanied by a minute-long video urging viewers to stand up against racism.
The action: Nike will two-to-one match employee donations to organizations that help advance equality. Nike has partnerships with organizations such as PeacePlayers, Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Jordan Brand Wings Program, and Serena Design Crew.
"We believe in using the power of sport to inspire people to take action in their communities, with Nike leading by example through its partnerships with world-class organizations dedicated to advancing this work," Nike told Business Insider in a statement.




Spotify committed itself to solidarity with the black community.


The words: "Now is not the time for silence," Spotify wrote in a Twitter post Saturday.
The action: The company expressed its support for the black community but did not provide an offering of financial support to any organization or specify any other direct action.
Business Insider reached out to Spotify about any specific actions the company is taking in light of its statement, but the company did not respond with details immediately.



CEO of Coach and Kate Spade-owner Tapestry Inc. said he cried writing a letter to stakeholders.



The words: "We can replace our windows and handbags, but we cannot bring back George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till, and too many others. Each of these black lives matter," Tapestry CEO Jide Zeitlin wrote.
The executive wrote about his own experiences and said that brands hold a responsibility toward making change.
The action: Tapestry is creating a plan that will be announced soon, Zeitlin wrote.
"We are working through a plan that we look forward to sharing with you. We want to convene a number of social justice, legal, and corporate entities to formulate a longer-term plan for addressing systemic inequality. Inequality in health, economic opportunity, public safety, and other sectors. We hope to join with government, but events of this past week make it clear that we cannot wait."





The Brooklyn Nets and teams across the NBA express a desire for change.


The words: "The organizations represented by the undersigned are committed to using our voice and platform to facilitate empathy and dialogue to help find answers, to heal the wound and pain," The Brooklyn Net's statement read.
The action: The team is one of a couple of dozen teams that released statements expressing heartbreak over George Floyd's death. However, The Brooklyn Net's statement did not include specific actionable steps it would take to combat racism and injustice in the future.
"Not all of us can ever be in a position to experience the personal pain, fear and despair of Black Americans in light of the events," the statement said. "But our instinct tells us that the lack of respect for human life, fueled by prejudice, is simply wrong."





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