Sexism Lawsuit Is Inaccurate Says Tinder CEO


Tinder have responded to yesterday’s damaging and embarrassing sexism allegations in a leaked memo from CEO Sean Rad, that says the complaint is “full of factual inaccuracies and omissions”.

Former VP of marketing and Tinder co-founder, Whitney Wolfe, has sued Tinder claiming she was subjected to “misogynist, frat-boy” abuse while working at the company.

Included in the suit – which names IAC and as defendants – are claims Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen called her a “whore” in front of CEO Sean Rad, and that they stripped the “24 year old girl” of her co-founder status because it “makes the company seem like a joke.”

The suit contains a number of sexist and threatening texts from Mateen, who Wolfe had been in a relationship with.

The owners of Tinder, IAC, released a statement yesterday saying Justin Mateen had been suspended pending an investigation.

And now a leaked email to staff from Sean Rad has been obtained by TechCrunch.

It says:

Hey team,

I know it’s been a difficult 24 hours for all of us…

I’ve learned a lot through this process and I wish I had done more in terms of managing what was clearly a complex situation. The communications between Justin and Whitney that have come to my attention through this process are just unacceptable. However, as many of you know, Whitney’s legal complaint is full of factual inaccuracies and omissions. We did not discriminate against Whitney because of her age or gender, and her complaint paints an inaccurate picture of my actions and what went on here. We take gender equality very seriously and none of this reflects the Tinder and culture that we have worked so hard to create.

I truly appreciate your dedication.

Sean Rad

Founder & CEO, Tinder

The leaked memo certainly sounds as if a lawyer had a hand in its writing, and definitely seems like Rad trying to distance himself and the Tinder brand from the allegations.

Including the IAC statement, this is all we’ve heard from the Tinder side regarding their defence of the “factual inaccuracies and omissions” – thus far we’ve only heard from Wolfe.

However whatever their defence might be, the leaked texts Rad calls “unacceptable” are hard to defend, and it would be very surprising if Mateen survives.

The memo does seem to try and separate Mateen’s actions and communications, and Tinder/Rad’s actions and culture.

In a statement, Wolfe said: “I had hoped this would be resolved confidentially, but after months of failed attempts, I have decided to pursue this suit.”

She is seeking compensatory damages, including lost pay, punitive damages and restitution.