Well, it’s Thursday, which naturally means a group of women, minorities, and/or someone from the LGBTQ community is offended by a product or sexual harassment or something your company has done that you can’t recall. Now, you, a powerful white man (!!!!!), have found your well-funded startup, of which the actual business purpose is unclear, in the middle of a public flogging.
As you survey the blizzard of white, hetero, male faces in the boardroom who all serve as key decision makers despite 95% of them landing a seat in the room solely due to some clutch networking, remarkable skillfulness in failing up, and nepotism, you can’t help but wonder why this issue wasn’t flagged earlier. No use in pointing fingers. It’s too late for that now mostly because all of your co-founders and investors have dipped to the Amalfi Coast to wait until all of this blows over and you only have 20 minutes to rally the troops and apologize to the public.
With a public apology letter template that you printed from the internet in hand, you finally get Hudson, Drew M, Brodee, Cam A, Sanders, Drew D, Cam T, and Chayce to stop practicing their golf swings in the corner and sit down to whiteboard the following response. All that’s needed now is to spell check, have the PR team give it a once over, send to CNN, and wait for the forgiveness:
To Our Loyal and Respected Customers,
It has come to our attention that our [identify the problem] general presence as a company has offended many of you. As an organization, [relate to the general public here] we have spent very little time attempting to understand anyone that isn’t a heterosexual white male so this public outcry is a bit bewildering as it goes against everything our forefathers said we deserved. Needless to say, we are [address why this problem is significant] quite alarmed as this is causing a significant hit to our revenue.
We are truly [be emotional here] whatever emotion makes us seem most empathetic to the public’s offense. This incident goes against the core beliefs and values our founders put into place [remind consumers about the rich history of your organization] high on shrooms, which they wrote on the back of a deli napkin and then promptly set ablaze out of fear after a mustard stain took the form of Ronald Reagan. It was cool at first until he wouldn’t shut up about being on a brown napkin as opposed to a white one.
We have carefully noted your many letters, tweets, protests, and calls for boycotts, [use this opportunity to show how that the feedback has been received] and after looking up 85% of the words used on Urban Dictionary, we now realize that a “clap back” is a bad thing in our case and we regret replying to many of your tweets with the clapping hands emoji. Even more so, we regret using the darkest skin tone.
Nevertheless,we deeply regret the err in judgement and will be doing the following: [list out the steps you will take to rectify the situation]
- placing a lot of good guys on suspension with pay while we conduct an internal investigation, which is just a fancy way of making it sound like we’re doing something when we’re really just browsing Reddit.
- laying low and waiting for another company to do something even more egregious and the public forgets about this.
- developing a diversity initiative with some people who have ethnic last names we can’t pronounce so next time something like this happens we’ll have a scapegoat. We’re hoping to just bowl a strike here and find one androgynous minority transwoman (or man? We haven’t taken the time to learn the difference) to just check all the boxes.
We appreciate your patience as we continue to work to find an amicable resolution to the matter and will be offering [a kind gesture to customers who remain loyal] free (limit 1 per person per city while supplies last. We’re only shipping to five stores nationwide. Your guess is as good as ours.) products as a small token of our appreciation to your loyalty and patronage over the years. We thank you for your dedication and will continue to work towards [strong closer on what you will do to improve as a company] being better about hiding our blatant racism, misogyny, and/or homophobia.
Sincerely [someone important enough at the company who doesn’t have any skeletons in the closet],
Spencer, Spring 2019 Intern
Business Major/Anthropology Minor at USC
Mentally spent you pat each other on the back on a job well done, chug four beers each, and decide to head home for the day. It’s 1:30pm.