Fake advertisements bashing Google appeared near its Venice, California offices Friday in response to the company’s decision to fire an employee who emailed a memo criticizing the company’s efforts to increase diversity.
Billboards posted on bus stops and bench ads in the neighborhood include using the company’s signature rainbow font to spell out “Goolag,” a play on a name for Soviet-era labor camps — where dissent was crushed. Another advertisement juxtaposes Google CEO Sundar Pichai with late Apple boss Steve Jobs. It includes Apple’s “Think different” slogan, with a fake Google motto responding to that, saying “Not So Much.”
Google fired engineer James Damore Monday after he circulated a memo to employees that said the company is an “echo chamber,” and chalked up the underrepresentation of women in technology to biological traits.
“We strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it,” Pichai said in an email to staffers explaining his decision to fire Damore. “However, portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace,” he continued.
Since he was let go by the search giant, Damore appears to be basking in his newfound notoriety, giving interviews to YouTube personalities and penning a Wall Street Journal op-ed. He also started a Twitter account, @Fired4Truth — which features a profile picture of Damore wearing a “Goolag” t-shirt.