Google employees are petitioning for the company to be booted from this year's San Francisco Pride parade due to its hate speech policies, Bloomberg reports.
Nearly 100 employees have signed a petition calling on the event's board of directors to kick out Google, which is an event sponsor. The letter cites Google-owned YouTube allowing "abuse and hate and discrimination against LGBTQ+ persons," saying that "Pride must not provide the company a platform that paints it in a rainbow veneer of support for those very persons."
This petition comes as YouTube faces criticism over its response to conservative commentator Steven Crowder making a series of homophobic remarks against Vox's Carlos Maza in his videos. Maza said that he has received harassment online as a resulted of Crowder's attacks, posting a video compiling Crowder's remarks and pointing out that he sells a T-shirt on his store with a homophobic slur on it.
YouTube initially said Crowder's videos did not violate its policies, saying that "opinions can be deeply offensive, but if they don’t violate our policies, they’ll remain on our site." The platform later suspended monetization on Crowder's account, citing a "pattern of egregious actions" that "has harmed the broader community." Amid the firestorm, YouTube promised to take a "hard look" its harassment policies with "an aim to update them."
But the employees calling for Google to be kicked out of the Pride event don't seem to be buying this, in their petition writing that they are "never given a commitment to improve" from the company but that "there is no time to waste, and we have waited too long, already." Google had previously told employees that protesting the company while officially marching with it in the parade would violate its policies, The Verge reports. Maza commended the Google employees who signed this petition on Wednesday, writing on Twitter, "That's some serious courage." Brendan Morrow