Cinemark Responds on CEO Donation on Prop 8

I recevied this from Cinemark corporate:

Dear Sue,

We received your correspondence regarding your concerns about the
Proposition 8 vote in California. Please know that Cinemark made no
financial contribution to either side on this issue. The company does
not take a formal position on political issues that do not directly
affect our business. It would be inappropriate to influence our
employees' position on personal issues outside the work environment,
especially on political, social or religious activities. Cinemark is
dedicated to providing high quality entertainment for all of our
customers.

As an equal opportunity employer, we do not discriminate based on race,
creed, religion or sexual preference. We appreciate the importance of
this matter to you. We hope that you equally appreciate that any
individual act or contribution is just that, individual acts of personal
expression and do not reflect company positions or policy.

Kindest regards,

James Meredith
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Cinemark USA, Inc.
3900 Dallas Parkway, Ste 500
Plano, TX 75093
972.665.1060 (office)
jmeredith@cinemark.com

So it is a personal contribution and thus, of no concern to Mr. Meredith.  Of course, those of our “sexual preference” make personal decisions all the time about where to spend our money.  Money that filled the personal coffers of the Cinemark bigwhigs, enabling the CEO to make a $10,000 donation in support of Prop 8. 

In my response, I explained that I would prefer to see Mr. Meredith take the lead to offset the damages his corporate revenue have done to those in my community before I spend money a this local theaters. I encouraged him to seek out opportunities to support GLBTQ organizations in the Pittsburgh region — I even made a few suggestions.   And I explained that my sexual orientation is no more a preference than his. 

In the meantime, I'll go elsewhere. 

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  • Sue,
    Since you imply that we as a community should spend our dollars elsewhere, could you please research and provide info to us on other theaters in the Pittsburgh area, where
    1) the companies have an official no-discrimination policy based on sexual preference; and
    2) the executives and employees of said corporation have not made donations to any causes that are adverse to the gay community?
    (Yeah, my point is, the company is already supportive of our community. The company should not be held accountable for the personal contributions of its employees.
    For that matter, if I consider hiring you as a dog-sitter, would you be comfortable showing me your tax return and charitable donation receipts so that I could make sure I agree with all the causes you support? I didn't think so. 🙂
    Bob

  • Sue,
    Since you imply that we as a community should spend our dollars elsewhere, could you please research and provide info to us on other theaters in the Pittsburgh area, where
    1) the companies have an official no-discrimination policy based on sexual preference; and
    2) the executives and employees of said corporation have not made donations to any causes that are adverse to the gay community?
    (Yeah, my point is, the company is already supportive of our community. The company should not be held accountable for the personal contributions of its employees.
    For that matter, if I consider hiring you as a dog-sitter, would you be comfortable showing me your tax return and charitable donation receipts so that I could make sure I agree with all the causes you support? I didn't think so. 🙂
    Bob

  • Hi Bob. Thanks for commenting.
    First of all, you make a good point about gay-positive indicators in the local business community. There is plenty of information available on the national level through the HRC and a lot of detail on donors for and against Prop 8. But Pittsburgh's queer business community is not highly organized and has not made a priority to tackle some of these issues.
    For my part, in terms of movie theaters, I would say you could follow the money in terms of companies that support the Pittsburgh Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. I know that the Southside Works has been very supportive as has the Harris Theater downtown. So that's one indicator. The Cinemagic Theaters in Squirrel Hill show a lot of gay sensibility. It would be worth exploring if someone had the resources, but I guess that's the best we can do.
    I would like to see evidence to support your claim that “the company is already supportive of our community.” They made no such claim in our correspondence. Perhaps they will make that information available to me in a future letter. If you can do that, I promise to share it here and on the national blogs that have picked up this little local story.
    This wasn't just any employee. It was the CEO. He made a $10,000 contribution. That's incredibly significant and it does reflect on his employer. By showing the film “Milk” he is clearly trying to bring gay $$ into his coffers. Why would we finance our own oppression?
    The use of the term “sexual preference” to describe the LGBTQ community underscores my point. That's ignorance at best and thinly veiled disgust at worst. If you can't be bothered to use the appropriate language when corresponding with your customers about gay issues, how much do you really value our dollars? Really?
    If you think any dogsitter is making $10,000 donations to any causes, you don't understand the economics of pet care services. LOL. I would love to be in that situation. LOL

  • Hi Bob. Thanks for commenting.
    First of all, you make a good point about gay-positive indicators in the local business community. There is plenty of information available on the national level through the HRC and a lot of detail on donors for and against Prop 8. But Pittsburgh's queer business community is not highly organized and has not made a priority to tackle some of these issues.
    For my part, in terms of movie theaters, I would say you could follow the money in terms of companies that support the Pittsburgh Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. I know that the Southside Works has been very supportive as has the Harris Theater downtown. So that's one indicator. The Cinemagic Theaters in Squirrel Hill show a lot of gay sensibility. It would be worth exploring if someone had the resources, but I guess that's the best we can do.
    I would like to see evidence to support your claim that “the company is already supportive of our community.” They made no such claim in our correspondence. Perhaps they will make that information available to me in a future letter. If you can do that, I promise to share it here and on the national blogs that have picked up this little local story.
    This wasn't just any employee. It was the CEO. He made a $10,000 contribution. That's incredibly significant and it does reflect on his employer. By showing the film “Milk” he is clearly trying to bring gay $$ into his coffers. Why would we finance our own oppression?
    The use of the term “sexual preference” to describe the LGBTQ community underscores my point. That's ignorance at best and thinly veiled disgust at worst. If you can't be bothered to use the appropriate language when corresponding with your customers about gay issues, how much do you really value our dollars? Really?
    If you think any dogsitter is making $10,000 donations to any causes, you don't understand the economics of pet care services. LOL. I would love to be in that situation. LOL

  • You know, not to sound paranoid, but it's certainly not unheard of for companies to astroturf and try and muddy the waters on blogs. No idea if Bob was a paid astroturfer or not, but it's definitely something to consider when evaluating the merits of his statement.

  • You know, not to sound paranoid, but it's certainly not unheard of for companies to astroturf and try and muddy the waters on blogs. No idea if Bob was a paid astroturfer or not, but it's definitely something to consider when evaluating the merits of his statement.

  • Oh don't worry about that. I know exactly where Bob came from. The IP address and referrals tell all. Let's just sit back and wait for the proof of how gay supportive Cinemark has been.

  • Oh don't worry about that. I know exactly where Bob came from. The IP address and referrals tell all. Let's just sit back and wait for the proof of how gay supportive Cinemark has been.

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