United Kingdom

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian RESIGNS so he can help 'curb racial hate'

Serena Williams' Reddit co-founder husband Alexis Ohanian has resigned from the company's board because he is a 'father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: 'What did you do?''

Ohanian made the shock announcement in a video uploaded to his Instagram page around midday Friday.

In the footage, he says he is stepping down 'for me, for my family, and for my country' so that his seat on the board can be filled by a black candidate and so he can focus on helping to 'curb racial hate'.

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has resigned from the company's board because he is a 'father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: 'What did you do?''

'Fifteen years ago I cofounded Reddit as a place for people to find community and a sense of belonging,' he says.

'It is long overdue to do the right thing. I'm doing this for me, for my family, and for my country.'

Ohanian continues: 'I'm saying this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: 'What did you do?' 

The tech founder and investor is married to tennis star Serena Williams and they have a two-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr. 

Ohanian made the shock announcement in a video uploaded to his Instagram page around midday Friday

'So I have resigned as a member of the Reddit board, I have urged them to fill my seat with a black candidate, and I will use future gains on my Reddit stock to serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate, and I'm starting with a pledge of $1M to Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Right's campaign.

'I believe resignation can actually be an act of leadership from people in power right now. To everyone fighting to fix our broken nation: do not stop.'

The shock news comes just days after Reddit's former CEO Ellen Pao slammed the company when it published an open letter to staff condemning racism, following the death of black man George Floyd at the hands of a white cop in Minneapolis last week. 

Pao laid in to the tech company in a Twitter post Tuesday saying the company 'nurtures and monetizes white supremacy and hate all day long'.

'I am obligated to call you out: You should have shut down the_donald instead of amplifying it and its hate, racism, and violence. So much of what is happening now lies at your feet,' wrote Pao, who was interim CEO between late 2014 and mid-2015.

'You don't get to say BLM when reddit nurtures and monetizes white supremacy and hate all day long.'

Her outrage came in response to current CEO Steve Huffman sending a letter to staff Monday and posting it on social media in response to Floyd's death and the Black Lives Matter protests across America calling for an end to police brutality and racism against African-Americans.   

'We do not tolerate hate, racism, and violence, and while we have work to do to fight these on our platform, our values are clear,' Huffman wrote.   

The NFL and NBA subreddits also blasted the tech firm's response - as many companies are facing a backlash for appearing to jump on the bandwagon of slamming racism while taking zero actions to tackle the issue. 

Both subreddits were switched to private for 24 hours so that anyone navigating to the sites came up against a message calling on Reddit leadership to resign if they cannot tackle hatred on the platform. 

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