Bumble CEO, Whitney Wolfe Flock has her photo taken on the red carpet after arriving for the TIME 100 Gala in Manhattan, New York, USA, April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton – RC1C8E20D780
CANNES — Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herdsaid she received threats after her, and networking app prohibited images of weapons in March after marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and other incidents.
“It is polarizing and we had the police at our office for a few weeks,” she said to Joanna Coles, chief content officer at Hearst Magazines, during Cannes Lions panel Monday. “I got e-mails saying, ‘I’m going to my Glock and my you know what [genitals]’ with, literally, a picture of the Glock and the other thing. It was, ‘We are coming for you, we know where your office is.’ The members of our team were still harassed. It is really wanted.”
She added: “I think that if you are pushing the limit on something, you’re going to piss someone off.”
But Wolfe Herd explained there was still struggle about the decision-making process within the company. “It pissed a lot of people off, but it was the right thing to do,” the exec said. “We have a lot of people in our team who are responsible gun owners. I’m from Texas … Our core values are equality, empowerment, kindness, and accountability. Do guns fit that bill? No. The majority of women who die from domestic violence a year is guns. So why would we want to romanticize that?”
She also explained that after leaving Tinder in 2014 alleged sexual harassment and discrimination in a lawsuit that was settled — the start-up of a company on the basis of the empowerment of women is still regarded as divisive. (On the dating app, Bumble, women the first step.)
“When I went and started to have a lot of trouble as an antidote for all that I have experienced, it was early,” she said. “#MeToo not happened, Time To not happened … you can’t walk through the aisles of the Audience and each T-shirt that said: ‘The Future Is Feminine’ or ‘We Should All be Feminists.’ The word ‘feminist’ is actually taboo. And so Bumble was very polarizing in 2014 … It really is fascinating to be a little early for this incredible tidal wave that is now the acquisition of culture.”
This story was previously published in the New York Post.