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.
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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