Evil corporation

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An evil corporation is a trope in popular culture that portrays a corporation as ignoring social responsibility in order to make money for its shareholders.[1] According to Angela Allan writing in The Atlantic, the notion is "deeply embedded in the landscape of contemporary culture—populating films, novels, videogames, and more." The science fiction genre served as the initial background to portray corporations in this dystopian light.[1] Evil corporations can be seen to represent the danger of combining capitalism with larger hubris.[2]

In real life, too, corporations have been accused of being evil. To guard against such accusations, Google at one point in its history had the official motto "Don't be evil",[1] now used as part of the closing lines of the company's code of conduct.[3][4] The company has been accused of violating this principle on several occasions, including with their now discontinued participation in a military drone AI program.[5][6]The New Yorker wrote that "many food activists consider Monsanto (now Bayer) to be the definitively evil corporation".[7] The Debate over Corporate Social Responsibility wrote, "For many consumers, Wal-Mart serves as the evil corporation prototype, but record numbers shop at the stores for low prices."[8] In Japan, a committee of journalists and rights activists issues an annual "corporate raspberry award" known as Most Evil Corporation of the Year Award (also called the Black Company Award) to a company "with a culture of overwork, discrimination and harassment".[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Allan, Angela (April 25, 2016). "How the 'Evil Corporation' Became a Pop-Culture Trope". The Atlantic. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  2. ^ McHenry, Jackson (August 26, 2015). "Mr. Robot's Chilling Message: Every Corp Is E Corp". GQ. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  3. ^ "Google's "Don't Be Evil" No Longer Prefaces Code of Conduct". Search Engine Journal. 2018-05-20. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  4. ^ "Google Code of Conduct - Investor Relations - Alphabet". Alphabet. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  5. ^ "Google Employees Are Livid About Company's 'Evil' Military Partnership". Live Science. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  6. ^ "Google 'to end Pentagon AI project'". BBC News. 2018-06-02. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  7. ^ Specter, Michael (November 4, 2013). "Why the climate corporation sold itself to Monsanto". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  8. ^ Kendall, Brenden E.; Gill, Rebecca; Cheney, George (2007). "Consumer Activism and Corporate Social Responsibility: How Strong a Connection?". In May, Steven K.; Cheney, George (eds.). The Debate over Corporate Social Responsibility. Oxford University Press. p. 258. ISBN 978-0-19-517883-8.
  9. ^ Kikuchi, Daisuke (December 23, 2016). "Ad giant Dentsu declared Most Evil Corporation of the Year". The Japan Times. Retrieved January 27, 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • Decker, Mark T. (2016). "Ridley Scott Takes On Apparently Evil Corporations in Alien, Blade Runner, and Prometheus". Industrial Society and the Science Fiction Blockbuster: Social Critique in Films of Lucas, Scott and Cameron. McFarland. pp. 74–110. ISBN 978-0-7864-9911-3.
  • Sloane, S.B. (2002). Organizations in the Movies: The Legend of the Dysfunctional System. University Press of America. ISBN 978-0-7618-2434-3.

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