Evil corporation

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Logo and slogan of the fictional evil Weyland-Yutani corporation from the Alien franchise

An evil corporation is a trope in popular culture that portrays a corporation as ignoring social responsibility, morality, ethics, and sometimes laws in order to make profit for its shareholders.[1] In rare cases, the corporation may be well intentioned but extremist, engaging in noble cause corruption.

In fiction[edit]

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]

Real-world usage[edit]

Some real-world corporations have been accused of being evil. To guard against such accusations, Google once adopted the official motto "Don't be evil", although whether it was ever truly followed was a matter of debate - critics accused the company of "evil" acts such as secret data collection and violating customers' privacy.[1][3] The motto was eventually stripped from its code of conduct.[4] The New Yorker wrote that "many food activists consider Monsanto (which later merged with Bayer) to be the definitively evil corporation".[5]

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."[6]

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".[7]

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. ^ Thompson, Cadie (2014-08-19). "Does 'Don't be evil' still apply to Google?". CNBC. Retrieved 2023-05-07.
  4. ^ Conger, Kate (18 May 2018). "Google Removes 'Don't be Evil' Clause from Its Code of Conduct". Gizmodo.
  5. ^ Specter, Michael (November 4, 2013). "Why the climate corporation sold itself to Monsanto". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.

External links[edit]