Conservative commentator and self-proclaimed comedian Steven Crowder has been engaged in a months long harassment campaign against Vox’s Carlos Maza, and while both he and his employer reportedly reached out on several occasions regarding the situation, the company failed to act until he posted a compilation video of the abuse to Twitter.
Since I started working at Vox, Steven Crowder has been making video after video "debunking" Strikethrough. Every single video has included repeated, overt attacks on my sexual orientation and ethnicity. Here's a sample: pic.twitter.com/UReCcQ2Elj
— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) May 31, 2019
Only then did YouTube respond, saying it would look into it, only to come back with a verdict that because it was part of a “debate,” the videos, while demonetized, would remain on the platform, which is owned by Google.
Now employees within the company are reportedly taking a stand. Two sources familiar with the situation told BuzzFeed employees are currently circulating a petition demanding management remove pride branding from its public social media accounts.
A Twitter account, called Googlers Against Hate, has also sprung up, calling their employer out for “capitalizing on Pride as a marketing campaign,” while at the same time having “no issue making policy decisions that harm LGBTQ people” like Maza. “We have #NoPrideInYT,” the tweet concludes.
Despite YouTube capitalizing on Pride as a marketing campaign, it's clear they have no issue making policy decisions that harm LGBTQ people like @gaywonk. We have #NoPrideInYT pic.twitter.com/onD1cARt98
— Googlers for Human Rights (@EthicalGooglers) June 5, 2019
The hashtag is being used across Twitter to call on the company to do better by its LGBTQ creators, as well as by those, like the Pride Foundation of Maryland saying they are parting ways with YouTube over its decision regarding Crowder’s videos.
We will be removing our content from @youtube. We encourage other LGBTQ orgs and individuals to do likewise. There is nothing to be gained by generating content for a platform that is used to attack and harass us in the way that @gaywonk has been. #NoPrideinYT
— Pride Foundation MD (@PrideMaryland) June 5, 2019
— Google Walkout For Real Change (@GoogleWalkout) June 5, 2019
— Meredith Whittaker (@mer__edith) June 5, 2019
Hey @Spotify! I just cancelled my @GooglePlayMusic and @YouTube Premium subscriptions, and am looking for an alternative. Are you guys down with taking a firm stance against anti-LGBTQ+ harassment? #NoPrideInYT
— Random Encounter (@RandomEncount3r) June 6, 2019
— Jun (@heidicullinan) June 6, 2019
At a San Francisco Board Meeting this week, advocates and former Google employees packed the room to argue for excluding Google from this year’s parade, Hoodline reports.
“This feels like a classic example of ’rainbow-washing,'” said former Google employee Tyler Bresaicher.
“[Google] gets a lot of press for being progressive, but even during Pride Month, this is how they behave,” said another former employee who wished to remain anonymous.
There has, as of yet, been no official decision made regarding Google’s participation in the parade.