Rap Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam has resigned from the text annotation company. Sources said he was fired for posting insensitive comments.
Rap Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam has been fired for posting disturbing comments on the popular website dedicated to annotating and interpreting rap lyrics. Moghadam annotated the 141-page memoir of mass murderer Elliot Rodger, who shot and killed six people this weekend.
Rap Genius published Rodger's troubling memoir, and Moghadam left insensitive annotations including “beautifully written” and “MY GUESS: his sister is smokin hot.”
Gawker was the first to report about Moghadam's comments on the website.
In a statement released today, Rap Genius co-founder and CEO, Tom Lehman, said that Moghadam has resigned from the company.
"In light of this, Mahbod has resigned – both in his capacity as an employee of the company, and as a member of our board of directors, effective immediately," Lehman said.
However, Re/code reports that Lehman was pressured by company investors to fire Moghadam.
"Mahbod is my friend. He's a brilliant, creative, complicated person with a ton of love in his heart. Without Mahbod Rap Genius would not exist, and I am grateful for all he has done to help Rap Genius succeed. But I cannot let him compromise the Rap Genius mission – a mission that remains almost as delicate and inchoate as it was when we three founders decided to devote our lives to it almost 5 years ago," Lehman added.
Mahbod Moghadam has apologized for the comments on Twitter. Moghadam also sent a statement to Gawker, explaining why he wrote those comments.
"I was fascinated by the fact that a text was associated with such a heartbreaking crime, especially since Elliot is talking about my neighborhood growing up. I got carried away with making the annotations and making any comment about his sister was in horrible taste, thankfully the rap genius community edits out my poor judgement, I am very sorry for writing it."
I want to apologize to everyone. I need to hear these criticisms, reflect for real, and work on becoming a better person— Mabode (@mahbodmoghadam) May 26, 2014