The author of the controversial memo that caused him to be fired by Google has said that he feels “betrayed” by Google and accused the company of trying to “smear” him.
James Damore was fired after a memo he wrote titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” caused outrage inside Google. CEO Sundar Pichai cut his vacation short and described the memo as offensive in a note on Monday and called Damore’s views “not OK.”
Damore told Bloomberg TV in an interview that aired on August 9 that “it really feels like they betrayed me in some way.”
“The whole point of my memo was actually to improve Google and Google’s culture,” Damore said. “They just punished me and shamed me for doing it.”
Host Emily Chang referenced YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s blog post, in which she suggested that the memo would not have generated praise if it was about black or or Hispanic employees.
“I think that that’s a false analogy,” Damore said. “She’s trying to lump me in with racists and other bigots which I’m not. I’m not a sexist and I’m not a racist. That’s just trying to smear my image rather than actually looking at the evidence.”
The Bloomberg TV interview was Damore’s first appearance on a mainstream media outlet. He was previously interviewed by two YouTube personalities popular with right-wing viewers.
Chang asked whether Damore identifies with the alt-right, an emerging online movement that rejects traditional conservatism.
“I don’t really identify with alt-right. I’m more of a centrist. I don’t think we should have such a strong ideology that really divides different people,” Damore said. “I think that there’s a lot more that we can do to bring people together. I’m very sympathetic to maybe some of the same struggles that especially some of the conservative people at Google face.”
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