Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel and his fiance, the model Miranda Kerr, have drawn harsh criticism in India following reports that Spiegel allegedly said he didnt want to expand into poor countries like India, according to a lawsuit filing.
Spiegels alleged comments, which the suit says he made in September 2015, became public after a court recently unsealed a lawsuit filed by former employee Anthony Pompliano, Variety reports.
Pompliano claims in his suit that he was fired after three weeks with the company when he found inaccuracies in user metrics reported in company filings. The suit says that Spiegels alleged remarks came after a discussion of the apps poor performance in India and Spain.
This app is only for rich people, Spiegel allegedly said, according to the lawsuit. I dont want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain.
The internet has exploded in backlash. Critics have called for a Snapchat boycott, and are posting one-star reviews of the app. Others have gone so far as to target Kerr, leaving furious and often vulgar comments on her social media posts.
The hashtag #BoycottSnapchat blew up on Monday, with more than35,000 unique tweets and more than 44,000 retweets, according to the analytics tracker RiteTag.
Snap Inc., Snapchats parent company, did not immediately respond to The WorldPosts request for comment. In a statement to CNN, the company dismissed the claim as ridiculous and called Pompliano a disgruntled former employee.
Obviously Snapchat is for everyone, the company said in its statement. Its available worldwide to download for free.
Spiegels verified Twitter account has no posts of its own, but as of Monday the account had likeda dozen or so tweets,all of them dated April 16. Those tweets are from users who are defending the company and echoing Snapchats characterization of Pompliano as a disgruntled former employee.
Since Spiegels social media presence appears to be minimal, some protesters have directed hateful messages at his fiances public accounts instead.
Tell your f*ing scumbag of a man to think before speaking, one person commented on Kerrs Instagram. So what if everyone living in India is not as rich as him. His dumb app is beneath us.
Kerrs management team did not respond to a request for comment.