On Wednesday, May 28, 2014, tech site, Valleywag, published horrifying emails sent from Snapchat CEO and Cofounder Evan Spiegel. The emails were sent between Spiegel and his fraternity brothers when he attended Stanford University.
In a written response, Spiegel defended these sexist emails, “I’m obviously mortified and embarrassed that my idiotic e-mails during my fraternity days were made public,” he said. “I have no excuse. I’m sorry I wrote them at the time and I was a jerk to have written them. They in no way reflect who I am today or my views towards women.”
Many of the emails were too sexually explicit for sites like CNN.com to publish.
Snapchat, founded in 2011, is a photo sharing app that is popular among teens and young adults. The app allows users to send photos and videos that disappear after a few seconds.
This public relations disaster is certainly cringeworthy. Has the apology been the best move Spiegel can make? Due to the fact that this behavior was from recent years this particular incident may need more than a “sorry for my past” response.
Unfortunately, the silicon valley tech world continues to celebrate young men who are sexist. many people agree that Spiegel is possibly “getting off easy due to the environment he works in. “[Spiegal’s] right to be embarrassed, the emails display the worst of the ‘bro’ mentality that continues to contribute to the marginalization of women in Silicon Valley.” –Jordan Crook, Long time acquaintance of Spiegel.
It is interesting to observe a element of our culture that does not hold behavior to the same standards as the rest of our society. It raises the question, are public relations disasters particular by industry?