Vivek Ramaswamy, ‘Shark Tank’ Host Mark Cuban Spar Over ‘Woke’ Capitalism

Vivek Ramaswamy, a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, is warning that corporations that engage in so-called “woke” practices run the risk of alienating their customers and expanding the division among Americans. “When those businesses wade into social disputes, not only is that often bad for business . . . it’s bad for our civic culture in our country,” Ramaswamy said in an interview with Fox News on Sunday. Ramaswamy—whose business experience includes working at a hedge fund and founding the biotechnology company Roivant Sciences—noted recent widespread boycotts of Anheuser-Busch and Target for wading into LGBT social issues. Anheuser-Busch has been facing a boycott since April after the company sent transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney a set of personalized Bud Light cans to mark the one-year anniversary of Mulvaney’s transition. Target also caught backlash when it rolled out a line of new products for Pride Month, including children’s book titles like “Pride 1,2,3,” “Bye Bye, Binary,” “I’m Not a Girl,” and “The Pronoun Book,” as well as women’s bathing suits with a “tuck-friendly” feature for concealing the wearer’s male genitalia. Both Target and Anheuser-Busch have lost billions in valuation since the start of these sustained boycotts. Ramasamy offered his criticism of “woke” corporate practices in direct response to comments by entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” host Mark Cuban. During an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on June 11, Cuban defended the idea of corporations continuing to wade into divisive social and political topics that critics consider “woke.” “There is a reason almost all the top 10 market cap companies in the U.S. can be considered ‘woke.’ It’s good business,” Cuban told the Pittsburgh area newspaper. Cuban suggested businesses facing “boycotts” could simply wait out the negative backlash. “Most CEOs have enough experience to know to just wait out the news cycle until they go to the next one,” Cuban said. America Needs Its ‘Apolitical Spaces’: Ramaswamy Even before jumping into the 2024 Republican presidential contest, Ramaswamy has been critical of businesses embracing divisive social and political topics. In 2021, Ramaswamy published a critique of wokeness in the business environment, called “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam.” Ramaswamy has continued to criticize “woke” business practices since joining the 2024 race. On his campaign website, Ramaswamy says “we need to get politics out of corporate America and capital markets.” The 2024 candidate has also vowed to rescind a rule implemented by President Joe Biden’s administration, which permits retirement funds to base their investment decisions on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scoring systems rather than strictly focusing on returns for investors. In his interview with Fox News on Sunday, Ramaswamy said America needs areas of public life where they can set aside politics. “What we need is apolitical spaces that bring people together, whether they’re black or white, or Democrat or Republican. The private sector, the sports stadiums of this country, the labs of this country, that’s where Americans unite, regardless of their partisan or identitarian affiliations,” Ramaswamy said. “And so I think ‘woke’ capitalism is bad for capitalism, but it’s also bad for American democracy, too.” ‘Shark Tank’ Hosts Divided on ‘Woke’ Businesses While Cuban defended corporations continuing to embrace “woke” messaging, fellow “Shark Tank” host Kevin O’Leary said that kind of business behavior risks alienating broad sections of customers. “When you lose nine, $10, $11, $12 billion of market cap, you know that you’ve offended somebody and that person is your customer. That’s bad business. Really bad business,” O’Leary told Fox News on Wednesday. Cuban offered a different take from O’Leary, telling the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that business executives shouldn’t worry about a momentary loss in their company’s market valuation. “First a dip in market cap is meaningless,” Cuban told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “You have to realize that there aren’t many individual owners of stocks—almost all ownership is via funds, and most trading is quantitative. So, it’s not like the drop is because tens of thousands of individual holders sold their stocks.” Cuban and O’Leary have embraced a mix of political views over the years. Campaign finance data show Cuban has donated to the campaigns of Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and former U.S. senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Cuban endorsed Democratic presidential candidates Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden in the 2016 and 2020 elections, respectively, and referred to Trump as a “jagoff” during the 2016 race. O’Leary, a Canadian, ran to lead the country’s Conservative Party in 2017. During an interview with CTV News at the start of his unsuccessful 2017 run, O’Leary did distance himself from comparisons to then-Republican president Donald Trump. Where Trump favore

Vivek Ramaswamy, ‘Shark Tank’ Host Mark Cuban Spar Over ‘Woke’ Capitalism

Vivek Ramaswamy, a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, is warning that corporations that engage in so-called “woke” practices run the risk of alienating their customers and expanding the division among Americans.

“When those businesses wade into social disputes, not only is that often bad for business . . . it’s bad for our civic culture in our country,” Ramaswamy said in an interview with Fox News on Sunday.

Ramaswamy—whose business experience includes working at a hedge fund and founding the biotechnology company Roivant Sciences—noted recent widespread boycotts of Anheuser-Busch and Target for wading into LGBT social issues. Anheuser-Busch has been facing a boycott since April after the company sent transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney a set of personalized Bud Light cans to mark the one-year anniversary of Mulvaney’s transition.

Target also caught backlash when it rolled out a line of new products for Pride Month, including children’s book titles like “Pride 1,2,3,” “Bye Bye, Binary,” “I’m Not a Girl,” and “The Pronoun Book,” as well as women’s bathing suits with a “tuck-friendly” feature for concealing the wearer’s male genitalia. Both Target and Anheuser-Busch have lost billions in valuation since the start of these sustained boycotts.

Ramasamy offered his criticism of “woke” corporate practices in direct response to comments by entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” host Mark Cuban. During an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on June 11, Cuban defended the idea of corporations continuing to wade into divisive social and political topics that critics consider “woke.”

“There is a reason almost all the top 10 market cap companies in the U.S. can be considered ‘woke.’ It’s good business,” Cuban told the Pittsburgh area newspaper.

Cuban suggested businesses facing “boycotts” could simply wait out the negative backlash.

“Most CEOs have enough experience to know to just wait out the news cycle until they go to the next one,” Cuban said.

America Needs Its ‘Apolitical Spaces’: Ramaswamy

Even before jumping into the 2024 Republican presidential contest, Ramaswamy has been critical of businesses embracing divisive social and political topics. In 2021, Ramaswamy published a critique of wokeness in the business environment, called “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam.”

Ramaswamy has continued to criticize “woke” business practices since joining the 2024 race. On his campaign website, Ramaswamy says “we need to get politics out of corporate America and capital markets.” The 2024 candidate has also vowed to rescind a rule implemented by President Joe Biden’s administration, which permits retirement funds to base their investment decisions on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scoring systems rather than strictly focusing on returns for investors.

In his interview with Fox News on Sunday, Ramaswamy said America needs areas of public life where they can set aside politics.

“What we need is apolitical spaces that bring people together, whether they’re black or white, or Democrat or Republican. The private sector, the sports stadiums of this country, the labs of this country, that’s where Americans unite, regardless of their partisan or identitarian affiliations,” Ramaswamy said. “And so I think ‘woke’ capitalism is bad for capitalism, but it’s also bad for American democracy, too.”

‘Shark Tank’ Hosts Divided on ‘Woke’ Businesses

While Cuban defended corporations continuing to embrace “woke” messaging, fellow “Shark Tank” host Kevin O’Leary said that kind of business behavior risks alienating broad sections of customers.

“When you lose nine, $10, $11, $12 billion of market cap, you know that you’ve offended somebody and that person is your customer. That’s bad business. Really bad business,” O’Leary told Fox News on Wednesday.

Cuban offered a different take from O’Leary, telling the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that business executives shouldn’t worry about a momentary loss in their company’s market valuation.

“First a dip in market cap is meaningless,” Cuban told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “You have to realize that there aren’t many individual owners of stocks—almost all ownership is via funds, and most trading is quantitative. So, it’s not like the drop is because tens of thousands of individual holders sold their stocks.”

Cuban and O’Leary have embraced a mix of political views over the years.

Campaign finance data show Cuban has donated to the campaigns of Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and former U.S. senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Cuban endorsed Democratic presidential candidates Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden in the 2016 and 2020 elections, respectively, and referred to Trump as a “jagoff” during the 2016 race.

O’Leary, a Canadian, ran to lead the country’s Conservative Party in 2017. During an interview with CTV News at the start of his unsuccessful 2017 run, O’Leary did distance himself from comparisons to then-Republican president Donald Trump. Where Trump favored an immigration policy that called for strong border control measures, O’Leary noted his heritage as the child of Irish and Lebanese immigrants and said “there are no walls in my world.”