LISTEN TO TLR’S LATEST PODCAST:
By Eric Lieberman
Hundreds of Amazon employees are reportedly infuriated with leadership because the company advertises on the conservative media outlet Breitbart.
An email titled “Amazon Must Stop Advertising On Breitbart News” was sent to CEO Jeff Bezos and Senior Vice President Jeff Blackburn, according to BuzzFeed News. The communication included a petition with 564 signatures.
“What is it going to take for us to stop advertising on Breitbart News,” an employee asked Blackburn during an all-hands meeting, saying the site “regularly publishes hateful and bigoted content.”
The email, which was obtained by BuzzFeed News, said Blackburn responded rather obliquely, referencing the notion that a third party is making decisions on where the company’s advertisements are hosted. (RELATED: Amazon CEO: We Are Exploring ‘Other Legal Options’ In Response To Trump’s Immigration Ban)
Also within the electronic communication is four choice quotes from employees, along with an attachment of comments from “52 additional Amazonians.”
“I am a woman, immigrant, person of color. My employer needs to stand up to this site which is nothing but full of hate,” said one employee.
- “When people find out I work at Amazon, the first question they ask is -‘How can you justify working for Amazon when they advertise on a hate site?’”
- “As a transgender woman, I find it deeply troubling that my employer has not yet pulled advertising from this site.”
- “‘There’s no hiring bias against women in tech, they just suck at interviews‘ – the fact that the company’s dollars pay for headlines like this make it very difficult for those of us putting in efforts to recruit and retain more women in technical roles.”
A group of anonymous marketers known as “Sleeping Giants” convinced 1,600 advertisers in recent weeks and months to avoid advertising on Breitbart, according to The Daily Beast.
One company in particular, though, is reportedly holding out.
“It’s Amazon. They don’t budge. They’re not budging. There hasn’t been one response from anyone,” the Sleeping Giants’ creator told The Daily Beast.
“Even if you call [Amazon], they’ll disconnect,” said a Sleeping Giants spokesperson. “Once they hear Breitbart, they’ll say, ‘Sorry, we can’t say anything,’ then hang up.”
Employees at Amazon mostly agree with such a sentiment, saying up until now, management usually ignored complaints even if there were dozens of them.
“They are now taking it very seriously,” an Amazon employee told BuzzFeed News. “It’s not a finalized decision, but it’s at least moving in the right direction.”