With founder/former CEO Joel Simkhai out, the folks over at Grindr finally seem ready to tackle the issue of sexual racism and bullying among users.
Simkhai left the company earlier this year. Last week, the hookup app tweeted a video about sexual racism, which states: “When someone says something like ‘I don’t date black people’, that’s all black people, that’s what I refer to as sexual racism.”
Related: CEO Joel Simkhai officially out at Grindr… Will the sexual racism he promotes go with him?
The tweet also included a link to kindr.grindr.com. When a person visits the site, a voiceover about sexual racism plays alongside a tagline that reads “It’s time to play nice” and a launch date of September 2018.
*sound on* ? It’s time to play nice. Dropping September 2018.https://t.co/vBZ1YiadQD pic.twitter.com/sXJord73ef
— Grindr (@Grindr) July 27, 2018
In many ways, Simkhai promoted the sexual racism Grindr has become notorious for.
In 2016, he told Broadly, “To say, ‘I’m only into black guys’—is that a bad thing? I think we should allow you to say that, because that’s your preference.”
In 2014, he told the Independent he’s OK with people being racist, so long as they give it a positive spin. “We encourage users to state it in a positive way,” he said, adding, “I’m not going to solve racism.”
Related: This dating app is for ‘lovers of diversity’ who are sick of seeing racist trash on Grindr
The announcement about “Kindr” comes just days after model/activist Munroe Bergdorf called on the app to address hate speech.
“Grindr has the resources and potential to become something positive and inclusive for the LGBTQ community in the future,” 30-year-old Bergdorf wrote in an Instagram post. “I just hope they make the necessary changes to do so.”
Thank you to everyone who trusted me with your experiences of abuse. Grindr has the resources and potential to become something positive and inclusive for the LGBTQ community in the future. I just hope they make the necessary changes to do so. I'm looking forward to discussing this at length with them next week. Well done to everyone who tagged them in the comments, community strength! ??
Bergdorf also shared screenshots of conversations fans have shared with her, which demonstrate the daily abuse they suffer for being black.
“R u white,” one screenshot said, “no cotton pickers,” another read.
Related: These interracial couples are not having your racism, er, “preferences” any longer
Today, Bergdorf announced she met with Grindr’s head of communications, Landen Zumwalt, and chief content officer, Zach Stafford, to discuss the app’s initiatives in combating sexual racism.
Just got off the phone with @Grindr to discuss the ways in which they will be working to stamp out sexual racism, transphobia, religious intollerance and body shaming going forward.
— Munroe Bergdorf ?? (@MunroeBergdorf) July 30, 2018
I can't disclose what form this will take, but I am very encouraged to hear how the app will taking steps to become a safer more inclusive platform for ALL.
They will be making a formal announcement of the changes in early September.
— Munroe Bergdorf ?? (@MunroeBergdorf) July 30, 2018
It remains to be seen exactly what Grindr has in store with “Kindr” or if it will be successful, but it’s definitely encouraging to see the company finally–finally!–accepting some responsibility for a problem it has ignored for nearly a decade now.
Related: Rapper Le1f shares disgustingly racist Grindr screenshots
Grindr is much more than racist. It’s body shaming, size queens who are racist and ageist. I understand attraction. I’m definitely not a prude. I have no problem with a quick round of casual sex. I also feel if you don’t identify as a top or a bottom, there’s bias. I have much more luck in person.
This is so stupid. You can’t force someone to hook up with or date someone that they aren’t interested in. You just can’t. Grindr is about the most shallow and vain thing you can find, yes, but to act like you should be able to force people to interact with certain groups…I mean really? If Tinder decided to try to force women to hookup with guys they aren’t interested in based on race or body type, people would go crazy. Yet this is supposedly okay.
Let me try to explain this to you. Response to white guy you are not interested in: “Sorry, not a match.” Response to Black guy you are not interested in: “No cotton -pickers.”
See the difference?
@DCFarmboy Your comment mischaracterises the article because it is actually criticising racial dating preferences altogether, not just abusive comments. Therefore your comment is not a valid response to the original commenter, who interpreted the article correctly.
@miserylovedme24 You raise an interesting point that this would not be allowed on Tinder, only Grindr. Perhaps this suggests that gay people generally exist in a liberal bubble because they do not believe they will find acceptance anywhere else. However, in 2018 in the western world, this is false.
When Dave Rubin left The Young Turks is about the same time I stopped identifying with the regressive left. This “sexual racism” BS is one manifestation of how crazy they have become.
An app won’t be able to convince a racist that he’s a racist. This debate is losing from the start.
Eventually, this article will have 37 more comments from racists claiming not to be racist. It’s always the same.
@Brian Never underestimate the power of brainwashing. I actually think you could be wrong – the dating behaviour of a lot of people might be influenced. The question is – what will be the unintended consequence of manipulating people into “virtuous” politically correct relationships they never really wanted to have in the first place?
It’s one thing to have your own personal preferences, but when you’re openly stating on your profile that you don’t want specific people based on their race, it’s very inconsiderate of how that might make a person who’s a minority feel. When someone generalizes “no blacks, no asians, etc.”, you’re telling the world as far as you’re concerned all that matters to you is their skin color, not who they are as a human being. If someone contacts you and you’re not interested, all you have to do is bow out by stating you don’t think you’re compatible with them. It’s amazing how shallow some of these profiles can be… if you were to meet someone you wanted to get to know and they immediately brushed you off and said, “I don’t want anything to do with gay people,” are you telling me that wouldn’t bother you a little bit?
@Doug I know exactly what you mean! For example, the other day I was on a mixed dating site (gay and straight) and I came across a straight guy who put in his profile “No gays please”. It was so inconsiderate about how I might feel as a minority! It was like it didn’t matter who I was as a human being! It is amazing how shallow some profiles can be!!!
Luckily I was near a safe space so I went over and had a little cry.
So just saying “sorry no match” is a good thing? Just lie and that makes it better? So if you are black and most white guys say sorry no match, that makes you feel better? Or even the reverse? If someone is not interested in me for whatever reason, I want to know from the get go so I don’t waste my time. I’m fat and if you are not ok with it just say it. I’m not going to cry like a baby, I don’t like femmes and that is MY business and you are not going to tell me otherwise. GROW A PAIR and STFU.
There are already plenty of No-Gays type profiles on there. I see guys with Trans or CD Only profiles on there, especially when we have large music festivals here in the summer. Those get blocked by me, just like the regular guys of color I have zero interest in. Doesn’t bother me. I do have “No Bi, married, or partnered guys” on my profile though too.
After a good amount of experience being involved with LGBTQ organizations and people, I can say that there are just some incorrigibly racist, sexist, classist, etc. gay and trans people out there, and no amount of appealing for kindness, decency, etc. is going to change them. Racism, like sexism and misogyny, has to do with power and domination, and many racists are frightened people who badly need psychological help but refuse to get it. Even people who sleep with people of a different race can be horribly racist, as Bruno Bernal recently demonstrated. People who crave the love of racists also could benefit from counseling too. Then you get the response that people are being “forced” to date someone they’re not attracted to, which is BS, because the criticism isn’t that you have to date people you’re not attracted to, but to stop being an [email protected] and categorizing whole races and ethnicities of people in hateful ways. But that points to the fact that racism and white supremacy aren’t just interpersonal, and the effort to dismantle isn’t just going to come from one person changing their behavior, admirable as that is, or one app. Racism and white supremacy are structural and systemic, so while Grindr’s push is commendable, I think they’re tilting at windmills. But it’s their site so they should try whatever they think might fly.
Dayuuuuum Kangol is taking out the trash today….(passes over the hooka pipe to Kangol)
Its fine to mention that there are certain type people your not into!!!
Why is Everyone so Frickin Touchy?
I dont do black or foreign So What.
I know Plenty of black people that dont want white, And?
So tired of all these word wimps!!!
Based on how utterly extreme and absurd you sound, any “black or foreign” person is quite thankful not ever to have to deal with you.
He said he doesn’t do black guys or foreigners. Big woop. Stop being so sensitive. At least he’s being honest. I’d say you’re the one sounding extreme.
Aires the Ram
@Redieagle: Yes, it’s fine to mention who you’re not into, but why bother? If someone you’re not into for whatever reason contacts you, just politely say, “sorry, I’m not interested”, and let that be that.
@Kangol: Blacks & foreign guys won’t have to deal with him anyway, because he doesn’t want to deal with them.
@Vince: I agree with you, people are much too sensitive when confronted with the truth. If someone said straight up front to me, “I’m not into guys like you because (fill in the blank), I would much rather know it right up front, saves everyone a lot of time and angst. But, that being said, I just think it is in bad form to write “not into ______ or ______”. It is not necessary. When we used to have to walk into a gay bar to find someone, if somebody you didn’t like came up to you, you’d just politely say ‘no thanks’, and if there was somebody there who you weren’t into for some reason, you just didn’t approach them. I think that behavior should be the same when you write in apps. When someone reads a persons profile for the first time (remember? first impressions?), it’s much like walking in the door of a gay bar when eyes are laid upon you. People are sizing you up, and thinking either “yes”, “no”, or “maybe”.
Whatever, in the end this wont make people not attracted to certain skin or body types be attracted by it, they’ll just block or not answer when sollicitated.
Aires the Ram
True, you cannot legislate or police anyones preferences and/or prejudices. I just think it’s in bad form to mention these things in a personal profile. You would never go up to a black guy in a gay bar and blurt out to his face, “I’m not into black guys”. You’d be lucky not to get a bloody nose. And you would deserve it if you did. Who would ever do that? Same goes with personal profiles on apps. Consider that profile like you would your behavior going up to a person you don’t know and introducing yourself.
As my Grandmother used to say, “you get more flies with honey, than you do with vinegar”.
IMHO the bigger Grindr fight is getting them to deal with Spam. It’s ridiculous. I really only use the app to see who is who in a crowd (stalking?) 😀 but even so so much of it is spam accts.
I’m iffy about all of this. Grindr, itself, has no particular stance on racism, body type, etc. The issue is the people who use Grindr. If you’re flat out not going to hook up with guys who don’t fit what you want, and perhaps have got a lot of messages from people you’re never going to meet, it might be considered annoying. What Grindr could do, instead, is have checklists or something that mention the types of people they are seeking. So you could, for example, check off that you like white, hairy, muscle guys, or black, heavyset, tall guys, or older men. Some people are into heavier guys. Some people are into Asian guys. Some people aren’t. Rather than state what they don’t like they can state what they do like. It works out the same but isn’t as harsh.
@djmcgamester No way, man. That makes way too much sense. We have to make a big debate about how white people are so evil and other races are so oppressed! Just be sure not to mention that half the time it is the racial minorities themselves perpetuating their own sexual preferences!
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I would actually try that “kindr.” After a time of feeling “undateable,” I think I’m open now to new people, maybe a new special one…and I’d love to keep it positive and friendly. With judgments at a minimum.
Aires the Ram
True Thad!! Because you never know when Mr. Right will come along, or what form he will come in. He could end up being totally not your stated type, and you’d fall head over heels for him anyway. You never know, keep your options open.
As a White male, I use to be exclusively Black. Look at my post name. I, however, learned over time that was being racist. I have drastically changed my ” taste ” due to the fact I’m not interested in having to pay or being asked to ” help ” a brother out. I’m also not interested in putting myself in possible danger with the high crime in the ” at risk ” neighborhoods; a term used by the news media. You can’t legalize a personal interest in other races or sexual appetite. Everything is not racist as put out by the media. The days of slavery are over. Don’t hold me responsible. I won’t hold you responsible for having to make sure I lock my house/car door and carry a gun to feel safe because of the crime. There is nothing that anyone of any race can’t do if they work for it. That’s the kicker, work for it.
You know you are spewing racist stereotypes in almost every sentence, and come off like the worst kind of racist out, right? Sheesh!
I personally dont understand this “race preference” thing Grindr seems to be famous for, and people on here defend.
If I find you attractive, we’ll talk and hopefully a connection forms. If im only interested in sex, i don’t care what your race is, if I find you attractive, then I find you attractive, we’re f**king.
@Hussain-TheCanadian Ah yes, there is a good reason for that… There is no “race preference” thing Grindr is famous for. It is simply a talking point made up by the leftist media (ie. Queerty) to further a political agenda (multiculturalism).
I don’t think Grindr should have an opinion on this.
Yes, some people are just jerks…but…that’s life. We can’t shield people from it.
Would it be great if the entire world became a Benetton ad (which, btw, love their clothes)? Yes. Will that ever happen? Hopefully, but we cannot force it. It just has to happen, organically…over time.
Aires the Ram
The whole world has never been like a ‘Benetton’ ad, and never will be. So don’t hold your breath.
tham, if the world became like a Benetton ad, and all the cultures mixed into one, do you think your way of life would survive? There are 2 billion muslims in the world, 1 billion Indians, 1 billion Chinese etc. The vast majority of the world is hostile to gay people (and has limited interest in western values at best) and in the “real Benetton” ad you would be thrown off a building. You have no idea how lucky you are and you are taking it for granted with your glib remarks.
The naive arrogance of western liberals is they think everyone wants to be western too. Do you think the Chinese give a crap about your gay rights? Do you even know what Sharia law is?
Arse the Ram, Its the simple things you get correct. You’re having a good day.
I don’t date women. Does that make me heterophobic? Do you think I need to be “kindr”?
This only serves to legitimise the victim mentality of minorities and paint the majority as discriminatory (which is untrue). Ironic given that this is a western-based app, and the western world is already the most diverse and tolerant culture on the planet.
I believe many will subconsciously fall for this “kindr” brainwashing. But what will be the unintended consequence when they are induced into “virtuous” relationships with people they are not actually attracted to? How will they react when they come to their senses and realise they have been manipulated? They might go the other way. It’s like the left just keep coming up with crazier and crazier initiatives – so crazy they backfire.
I feel like there must be a distinction between “I’m not into black guys” and “No cotton pickers”. Those are very different. I also don’t understand why people find race preferences to be invalid. Like it or not, most of sexual attraction, SPECIALLY in a dating app, and specially in a hook up one like Grindr, is about physical attraction. And race, along with fitness, is one of the MOST defining features of a person’s appearence.
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