Kevin O’Leary on Major DEI Setback: ‘The Pendulum is Swinging Back to Normalcy’

News & Politics

Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, aka “Mr. Wonderful,” offered a passionate defense of Tractor Supply’s decision to put customers over ESG ratings.

During the June 28 edition of CNBC’s Last Call, Anchor Brian Sullivan asked O’Leary whether Tractor Supply had moved too quickly and openly by announcing the end of all their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

O’Leary applauded Tractor Supply for listening to their rural customers, before celebrating this setback for radical DEI initiatives. “The pendulum is swinging back to normalcy. America is saying ‘Enough already! This stuff is too crazy. It doesn’t work. It’s not the core of what a business is about. It’s not the DNA of success and it doesn’t take care of our employees and our customers,’” O’Leary told Sullivan. “I’m going to make a statement about this to push this agenda back in everybody’s face. Good for them!”

On June 6, conservative commentator Robby Starbuck went after Tractor Supply’s atrocious corporate behavior. He listed several offenses, including “funding sex changes,” creating a DEI council and “funding pride/drag events.” Starbuck also called Tractor Supply out for having “LGBTQIA+ training for employees,” “climate change activism,” “pride month decorations in the office,” “DEI hiring practices” and “LGBTQIA+ events at work.” 

Starbuck’s campaign to highlight the absurd distance between Tractor Supply’s rural customers and the company’s embrace of racially discriminatory DEI and LGBTQIA activism was successful. 

On June 27, Tractor Supply promised to “eliminate DEI roles and retire our current DEI goals” in a post on X. The company also promised not to fund pride festivals, abandon carbon emission goals and cease providing data to the LGBT pressure group the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). 

Tellingly, the HRC maintains the Corporate Equality Index which hounds companies to allow men in women’s bathrooms and cover “Transgender-inclusive health insurance.” It  pushes companies to provide “pharmacy benefits for hormone therapy, medical visits and lab procedures related to hormone therapy, surgical procedures, and short-term leave for surgical procedures.” This activist group demands that the companies they rate “fully affirm healthcare coverage for medically necessary transition-related care.”

O’Leary had no patience for companies that focused on these issues.

During the CNBC interview, O’Leary made the absurdly common-sense case that companies should focus on serving their customers, their “number one constituency,” as well as employees and investors, rather than catering to radical organizations and activists.

“If you don’t take care of all of them consistently over and over again, you don’t have a business,” O’Leary said.

He pointed out the absurdity of companies taking their eye off these things to focus on “climate change” or “gender identity,” before colorfully lampooning DEI at a company serving rural conservatives. 

“I’m pretty sure that when you’re a farmer and go in there and pick up a bag of hog feed and you take it back to the barn and you stick it in the trough and you say to the hogs, ‘Listen, everybody, this company does not support a social agenda. Are you okay with that here in the hog community? If not, do not eat this feed.’ I think they’re gonna eat the feed,” the Shark Tank star said. 

Conservatives are under attack! Support businesses that share your values or at least understand that they serve customers and employees rather than radical ESG pressure groups such as the Human Rights Campaign.

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