|Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival|
Friedman's individualist perspective states that "the only goal of business is to profit, so the only obligation that the business person has is to maximize profits for the owner or the stakeholders" (Salazar 17). The donations that Anschutz gave to the Alliance Defending Freedom, the National Christian Foundation, and the Family Research Council don't seem like affective ways to maximize his own profits in any way, shape, or form. The only thing I really see Anschutz getting out of the donations he made is bad publicity, which could negatively affect the sales and long-term success of larger established businesses, such as the businesses that he owns. Anschutz and his business have received a lot of criticism from the LGBT community, which could definitely result in LGBT supporters refusing to purchase tickets to events hosted by the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG).
The donations made by Anschutz and the Anschutz Foundation would be considered unethical by an individualist, not because of how they affect stakeholders but because of the way if affects Anschutz businesses. Friedman's perspective on individualism 'forcefully' argued that "businesses should not attempt to be socially responsible. Spending money on resources, employees, and donations to causes is wrong because it is essentially stealing from the owner" (Salazar 17). From Friedman's perspective of individualism, Anschutz is essentially stealing money from himself, and to stack on top of that, the donations he made aren't even giving him a good reputation.
From a utilitarian perspective, this case would be considered unethical because of the way it negatively affects the stakeholders, in particular the LGBT community as a whole. Utilitarianism is considered a stakeholders approach, which states that "the main goal for a business should be to maximize the happiness of all conscious beings int the long run that are affected by the businesses actions" (Salazar 19). Anschutz and his donations that were made to multiple anti-LGBT groups probably did not sit well with the LGBT community. These anti-LGBT groups that he donated to are attempting to take away the equal rights that the LGBT community has worked to get for years.
A utilitarian would also tell you that "the primary values of a business should be pleasure, the absence of pain, and even the satisfaction of desires" (Salazar 19). So again, from a utilitarian perspective, this case would be unethical because of the pain and lack of pleasure caused to the LGBT community, and even to Anschutz himself. I include Anschutz because from the articles posted, he does not seem pleased with how he's been bombarded with questions, or with how hes been called an anti-LGBT supporter. This case is also unethical from a utilitarian perspective because of Anschutz's lack of awareness for how the donations would affect stakeholders, and the consequences that come with it. Even if he and his organizations truly didn't know that the groups they were donating to had anti-LGBT ties, they still could have avoided the situation if they did some extensive research into them.
"Kantianism does not make decisions based on consequences, but rather on what Kant calls 'Goodwill'" (Salazar 21). Therefor from a kantian perspective, this case would most likely be considered ethical since we don't know if Anschutz made the donations out of goodwill. Since there is no proof of him knowing beforehand that the groups he was donating to were anti-LGBT, we would have to assume he was doing it out of goodwill. The IRS allows businesses to deduct deduct certain charitable donations from their taxes, so that instead of a business having to pay money to the government, they can give it to other causes in need of the money. Donating money to charitable organizations doesn't completely exempt you from being required to pay taxes, but it can relieve some of the money you have to pay back to the government. Anschutz could have very well been attempting to donate money in order to minimize his tax bills.
Kantianism also states that we should "always act in ways that respect and honor individuals and their choices" (Salazar 22). Since we are supposed to respect and honor individuals and their choices, then we would have to respect the fact that Anschutz and organization were trying to donate money to organizations in need instead of just giving it to the government. They didn't have to donate anything at all, so the fact that they were donating thousands of dollars to groups in need is pretty respectable, especially when you exempt the fact that the organizations have anti-LGBT ties. From a kantian perspective we have to respect the fact that Anschutz and his organization might have really been unaware of the groups anti-LGBT ties. We would also have to respect that he immediately ceased all contributions to such groups once it came to their attention that those groups were supporting such causes.
The outcome of the action is irrelevant to a virtue theorist. Instead, they look at how the person or organizations actions reflect who they are. They also believe that one should "act so as to embody a variety of virtuous character traits or good character traits and so as to avoid vicious or bad character traits" (Salazar). Some virtuous traits include honesty, leadership, trustworthiness, and compassion. Anschutz and his organization showed some good character traits during the controversy that I believe would make a virtue theorist consider them as ethical.
After news broke out that Anschutz had donated money to charitable organizations that have anti-LGBT ties, he made sure to release a few statements to the public in order to clear things up. One statement released stated "I support the rights of all people and oppose discrimination and intolerance against the LGBTQ community... I regret if any money given to charity for other purposes may have indirectly worked against these values" (Taylor). Leadership and compassion are important character traits that Anschutz was able to show when he released the statement regarding the controversy. When he stated that he regrets if any of the money he donated was used for anti-LGBT purposes, he showed that he has some sort of compassion for the people he has hurt. It also hinted that he doesn't want the public to think that he's a bad man, and that he wantt to prove the opposite. Anschutz showed leadership because of the way he addressed the issue, instead of never responding to it. He also showed leadership by saying he'd make sure it never happens again, which means he must be taking some sort of action to make sure of that.
About Freedom For All Americans | Freedom For All Americans. Freedom For All Americans, https://www.freedomforallamericans.org/about/
Capehart, Jonathan. “Opinion | Here They Are, the 'Enemies of Equality' for LGBT Americans.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 7 July 2016, www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2016/07/07/here-they-are-the-enemies-of-equality-for-lgbt-americans/?utm_term=.25dbf1723ddd .
ESPINOZA, J. Coachella Owner Says He Is No Longer Giving Money To Anti-LGBTQ Groups. Complex, http://www.complex.com/music/2017/01/coachella-claims-he-no-longer-donates-to-anti-lgbtq-groups .
Eye on the Opposition: Enemies of Equality. https://www.freedomforallamericans.org/eye-on-the-opposition-enemies-of-equality/ .
Hogan, M. Coachella’s Controversial Owner: What You Need To Know | Pitchfork. https://pitchfork.com/thepitch/1402-coachellas-controversial-owner-what-you-need-to-know/
Taylor, A. Is Cara right about Coachella being ‘anti-LGBT? | BBC. http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-43797896 .
ThingLink. “Enemies of Equality by Erik Maulbetsch.” ThingLink, www.thinglink.com/scene/802999913783754753?buttonSource=viewLimits.