MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren condemned “hate mongers and white supremacists” in a letter to his more than 77,000 worldwide employees last Friday, and encouraged them to donate to anti-hate groups by explaining contributions would be matched.
Following last week’s deadly terror attacks in Barcelona that left 14 dead in Spain, and a white supremacy “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that saw one innocent victim die, Murren said he felt compelled to express his views and reaffirm the company’s position.
“On the question of human rights, MGM Resorts takes an unequivocal position: The protection of human dignity, demonstrated in the form of tolerance and respect for all people, is the core of our identity,” Murren wrote. “While hate mongers and white supremacists have a constitutional right to express their views, we must stand strongly in defiance of violence, bigotry and anything that threatens our precious right to equality.”
Murren finished his letter by telling his workers that if they donate to one of seven organizations MGM deemed to be working towards the anti-hate cause, the corporation would match it.
Those nonprofits include the Southern Poverty Law Center, National Association of the Advancement of Colored People, Anti-Defamation League, Human Rights Campaign, Council on American Islamic Relations, OCA National-Asian Pacific American Advocates, and League of United Latin American Citizens.
It’s worth noting that several of the appointed groups are certainly not without their own share of critics.
CEO Against Trump
Jim Murren was a lifelong Republican before abruptly breaking from his party to support Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. In a letter issued a year ago, the MGM CEO said crossing the aisle in 2016 was “an easy choice.”
He cited his concerns on then-candidate Trump’s proposed travel ban on certain Middle Eastern countries that have been linked to terroristic groups. He added inclusion is vital not only to MGM, but the United States as a whole.
“In southern Nevada, where my company is headquartered, more than 42 million tourists visit every year. Foreign visitors make up 16 percent of the total. They stay longer and spend nearly twice as much as domestic travelers,” he stated.
But perhaps more importantly to Murren, at least morally speaking, is his view on global acceptance. “As the head of a company … I know that diversity and inclusion are imperatives from the standpoint of both morality and business,” he concluded.
Add Murren to the List
Murren’s bet on Clinton didn’t pay off, but to his credit, after Trump’s shocking upset, he expressed a willingness to work with the new commander in chief. After last week, that offer might be off the table.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle have come out against how the president handled the alt-right rally in Virginia. Trump initially blamed protestors on both sides instead of coming out in staunch defense of equal rights. Trump later amended his position and said “racism is evil,” but then went back and doubled down that not just one side was at fault.
Among Republicans who condemned Trump’s response include Sen. John McCain (Arizona), Sen. Tim Scott (South Carolina), Ohio Governor John Kasich, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.