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Rap Genius and co-founder Mahbod Moghadam have parted ways over controversial comments made on the Santa Barbara shooting suspect’s 141-page manifesto.
Moghadam resigned from the site on Monday after posting offensive annotations to Elliot Rodger‘s rant prior to his deadly rampage on Friday night, which left six people dead.
Included in his inappropriate commentary were notes such as: “beautifully written” and “Elliot barely mentions his sister Georgia throughout the book!” before speculating that “his sister is smokin hot,” reported Time.
Rap Genius co-founder and CEO Tom Lehman issued a statement on Monday explaining that the annotations were meant to make the manifesto easier to understand rather than offend.
“However, Mahbod Moghadam, one of my co-founders, annotated the piece with annotations that not only didn’t attempt to enhance anyone’s understanding of the text but went beyond that into gleeful insensitivity and misogyny. All of which is contrary to everything we’re trying to accomplish at Rap Genius,” Lehman wrote.
“Were Mahbod’s annotations posted by a new Rap Genius user, it would be up to our community leaders, who set the tone of the site and our approach to annotation, to delete them and explain to the new user why they were unacceptable.
“And Mahbod, our original community leader, is no exception. 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 concluded his statement by saying: “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 five years ago.”
The comments have since been removed from the Rap Genius site.
Rodger, 22, who is the son of Hunger Games second-unit director Peter Rodger, allegedly killed six people and injured 13 others in an Isla Vista rampage that began with an apartment stabbing and ended with a crashed BMW and an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The University of California at Santa Barbara has canceled Tuesday classes in the wake of the tragedy, and the school’s chancellor announced Sunday night that the school would be declaring it “a day of mourning and reflection,” with a memorial service scheduled for 4 p.m. that day.
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