Verizon Drops Loren Feldman Like He’s Hot

Jul 8th, 2008 | By | Category: General, Internet TV, Video, Video Podcasts, Vlogs

Verizon has backed out of a deal with controversial video blogger Loren Feldman after just a week, after civil rights groups and bloggers protested Feldman’s work, which many consider racist.

Feldman is no stranger to controversy, but his “Technigga” character, in particular, strikes many as bigoted. In a video entitled Where Are The Black Tech Bloggers, Feldman creates a faux black tech vlog, largely based on black stereotypes.

“Verizon CEO Lowell C. McAdam needs to demonstrate that Verizon understands they should demonstrate corporate responsibility and will not tolerate racism, or bigotry,” said Najee Ali, of Project Islamic Hope, one of several groups that protested the deal. “The Verizon distribution deal with Feldman sends a horrible message that Verizon seeks to partner with racists like Feldman and that Verizon and CEO McAdam find nothing offensive with ‘TechNigga’.”

While some think the controversy raises free speech issues, black tech blogger Corvida (ReadWriteWeb) isn’t buying it.

“While Feldman does have a right to Freedom of Speech, that doesn’t mean customers of Verizon should support it.”

“As a customer of Verizon, I don’t want to contribute to Feldman’s bank account and I don’t want Verizon to do so either,” adds Corvida. “We have valid reasons for not wanting his filth on the network where it can be spread and promoted. It’s promoting stereotypes that are perpetuated throughout the world on various levels and one that I as a black female do not wish to see supported on any level.”

Ultimately, Feldman’s biggest problem may be that his idea of comedy is more offensive than funny to a lot of people.

Valleywag’s Mary Jane Irwin called Feldman’s work “stupid, and grossly offensive.” Wired’s Adario Strange said the Technigga video was “Tech Blackface” and that Feldman’s concept of comedy was “living in 1938”.

“There are plenty of people who don’t think TechNigga was funny, and for the record, I am one of them,” writes tech blogger Mathew Ingram.  “I get the point that Loren was trying to make (or at least I think I do), but to me it just didn’t work.”

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