Google's Diversity Controversy Mocked in Street Art Near Office

Sabo_Google_Street Art - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Sabo

The posters were plastered onto bus-stop benches and behind glass looking like official advertisements.

The politics of Google has been in the spotlight since the online giant seemingly fired an employee for challenging liberal orthodoxy. It's a situation tailor-made for Sabo, and the conservative street artist struck before the sun rose on Friday, plastering the Venice area of Los Angeles, all around some offices where Google and its YouTube unit reside, with disparaging posters in some very hard-to-reach areas.

The posters, some of them exceedingly large and very high up, some plastered onto bus-stop benches, some behind glass looking like official advertisements, contrast Google with Apple, distorting the latter's catchphrase to suggest that thinking different at Google won't produce world-changing products, it will get you fired.

The controversy that Sabo is exploiting concerns Google's vp of diversity, integrity and governance Danielle Brown publicly chastising an employee who wrote a memo chastising Google for what he thinks is an obsession with diversity.

The employee, James Damore, wrote 3,000 words in his memo, but some of the ones that got him in trouble went like this: "I'm simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don't see equal representation of women in tech and leadership."

After some employees complained about Damore's 10-page missive, Google CEO Sundar Pichai fired him.

In Sabo's artwork, Pichai's image appears alongside the image of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, and both logos from the tech giants are also present.

In some posters, Apple's tagline "Think Different" is alongside Google's logo with the text "Not So Much." In other posters, it's alleged that thinking different gets you hired at Apple but fired at Google.

"It seems since after the election of Trump not only has the left lost their minds," Sabo tells The Hollywood Reporter, "they've all decided to throw all their chips on the table by oppressing anyone who either voted for Trump, supports Trump, is right of center, or simply doesn't see things their way."