Hours after Indian-origin Parag Agrawal took over as the new CEO of Twitter, he was dubbed a "racist" over an old tweet mocking racism and Islamophobia in America. Agrawal had quoted comedian Aasif Mandvi in the controversial tweet published on Oct 26, 2010.
Agrawal took over the reins of Twitter following the resignation of his predecessor Jack Dorsey, after 16-year stint. In his mail, Dorsey stated that it was time for him to step down because the importance of a company being 'founder-led' is severely limiting and could also prove to be a point of failure. Dorsey also announced that Bret Taylor will be the new chairman of the board.
Did Agrawal Call White People Racist in His Tweet?
Agrawal, an IIT-Bombay graduate made the controversial mush before he joined Twitter. The tweet read: "If they are not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and extremists, then why should I distinguish between white people and racists."
Soon after the tweet resurfaced, Agrawal was not only dubbed a racist but also faced severe backlash from right-wingers and Republicans.
"This is the new CEO of Twitter. How can users trust him to treat everyone equally?" Colorado's Ken Buck tweeted.
"This is Parag Agrawal, Twitter's new CEO and the person who's going to be deciding what kind of speech is allowed on Twitter," wrote Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee.
"New CEO of Twitter Parag Agrawal said, "Why should I distinguish between white people and racists." How will Twitter get better with a racist like Parag in charge?" wrote a Twitter user.
Agrawal Clarifies His Controversial Tweet
While responding to a tweet, Agrawal clarified that he was simply quoting a comedian from The 'Daily Show'. "I was quoting Asif Mandvi from The Daily Show. The article you are reading seems too deep for my current mental state," read the Twitter CEO's tweet.
"I am amused by people that pass judgement on people for passing judgement. I was attempting to do the same to amuse myself," he added in a separate tweet.
To back the claim being made by Agrawal, Andrew Kaczynski, a CNN reporter tweeted the original video in which Mandvi can be heard saying the lines in 'The Daily Show' segment and later shared by Agrawal in his tweet. "This tweet which is currently going viral among the right from Twitter's new CEO is him quoting a Daily Show segment that aired that night about stereotypes. It's a joke about absurd stereotypes, not a factual statement," wrote Kaczynski.