300+ L.A. Tech and Media Execs Sign Open Letter Opposing Trump's Travel Ban
Whalerock Industries' Lloyd Braun, STX president Sophie Watts and The Chernin Group's Jesse Jacobs are among the more than 100 people who signed the letter.
A group of more than 300 leaders across Los Angeles' technology and media industries have signed a letter to President Donald Trump opposing his ban on immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries.
"Among the reasons we proudly build and grow companies here in Los Angeles is the rich diversity the city and its residents provide," reads the letter. "Los Angeles is a sanctuary city for immigrants. We write out of concern that your recent executive orders will undermine that and send a dangerous message to all immigrants that they are not welcome here."
The letter was initiated by a group of female entrepreneurs in Los Angeles including VCs Dana Settle, co-founder and partner at Greycroft Partners, and Kara Nortman, partner at Upfront Ventures; and startup founders Ariella Feldman, co-founder of Violet Grey; Jamie Kantrowitz, CEO of Countertop; and Susan Feldman, co-founder of One Kings Lane.
Many local entrepreneurs have added their names to the letter, including STX Entertainment president Sophie Watts, Whalerock Industries CEO Lloyd Braun and The Chernin Group president Jesse Jacobs. Executives and employees from Disney, CAA, WME Ventures, Otter Media, Machinima, AwesomenessTV and Snap Inc. also are represented.
Trump on Jan. 30 signed an executive order temporarily banning entry of immigrants, including refugees, from seven majority-Muslim countries including Iran, Iraq and Syria, until the U.S. implemented a new "extreme vetting" protocol. A San Francisco-based Court of Appeals is hearing arguments about the legality of the executive order following a decision by a federal judge in Washington state to halt the order nationwide.
Several industries directly impacted by the ban have reacted in the days since Trump signed the order. More than 100 Silicon Valley- and San Francisco-based tech companies, including Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix and Tesla, have joined a legal brief opposing the ban.
Hollywood also has been making its position known. Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke out against the ban on Tuesday, saying that he believes "we cannot shut our borders to immigrants." UTA on Wednesday announced plans to cancel its annual Oscar party and instead donate to the American Civil Liberties Union and the International Rescue Committee.
The L.A. tech letter concludes: "We are confident that we can achieve security without threatening the inclusivity and diversity at the heart of Los Angeles — and the United States. We encourage you to rescind your recent executive orders."
The full letter from the L.A. tech community and list of signees can be found here.