There is some confusion in the tech world as to how to approach the whole Tinder sexual harassment lawsuit deal. There are lots of Law & Order aficionados out there who like to remind everyone that these are allegations.
Justin Mateen (pictured above) allegedly called Whitney Wolfe a slut and a whore in front of other team members. Sean Rad and Justin Mateen allegedly excluded her from taking credit for the work she did, and then later stripped her of her co-founder status altogether to avoid looking like chumps. A friend of Sean Rad’s allegedly spit in Wolfe’s face after Justin Mateen berated her publicly at a company party.
CEO Sean Rad sent out an internal memo to other Tinder team members on Tuesday, in which he claimed that the complaint was full of inaccuracies and omissions, and that the court documents don’t accurately portray his actions in the whole thing.
Except that Wolfe has a whole buttload of evidence at her disposal.
First, there’s the evidence that she was, at one point, a co-founder. The court documents include texts from Sean Rad assuring her that she’s a co-founder, while simultaneously admitting that her name was omitted as a co-founder in a certain article. The text doesn’t say why, only a lot of “hahaha, whatevs” from Rad.
I particularly love the part where he implies she’s being overly “emotional” about it. Nice one, brah.
More damning, though, are the Lifetime-movie-scary texts from CMO Justin Mateen. Watch as Tinder's “Chief Marketing Officer” (who can’t seem to string together a coherent sentence, so now I’m assuming they just decided they needed a dude CMO and trucked him in) spins out of control. Let's start with the run-of-the-mill threatening texts:
And then there's the one where Justin Mateen went ultra macho "do you even lift bro" crazy at the possibility that Wolfe had spoken with another man:
I generally find that anyone who uses the term "homo" should be aggressively avoided.
And then there's the one where Mateen thought Wolfe had been hanging out with a Muslim man:
And then there are the 14 billion texts in which Mateen demands that Wolfe swear she didn't talk to another man--and threatening her while simultaneously insisting that he's not threatening her--if she's telling the truth:
So what have we learned? We've learned that Tinder had a crazy ass CMO, that a bunch of VCs poured money into the startup despite having a particularly unstable co-founder (even though the mantra is always "it's all about the team"), and that NO ONE at Tinder knows the difference between the words "effect" and "affect."