Rap Genius’ Mahbod Moghadam Ousted After Tasteless Commentary On Elliot Rodger Manifesto

  • Mahbod Moghadam
    Rap Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam was forced out of the company Monday, May 26, 2014, after comments he posted on the Isla Vista, California, killings.
  • Mahbod Moghadam
    Rap Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam, second from right in photo, was forced out of the company Monday, May 26, 2014, after comments he posted on the Isla Vista, California, killings.
  • Rap Genius
    Rap Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam was reportedly fired after posting creepy comments on the writing of Elliot Rodger
  • Isla Vista Shootings
    Memorial flowers are placed in a bullet hole in the window of a deli that was one of nine crime scenes after a series of drive-by shootings that left seven people dead in the Isla Vista neighborhood of Santa Barbara, Calif., on May 25, 2014. Twenty-two year old Elliot Rodger killed six people before taking his own life in a rampage through a California college town shortly after he posted a threatening video railing against women, police said on Saturday.
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Rap Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam was fired after he posted tasteless comments on the manifesto of Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old who apparently killed six people in a shooting spree in Isla Vista, California, last week.

“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,” wrote co-founder Tom Lehman in a public statement.

“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,” the statement says.

On his annotation website, which is known for explaining the meaning behind song lyrics, Moghadam wrote a series of comments on the entry for Rodger’s 141-page manifesto.

Though his words are now removed, they include comments such as “MY GUESS: his sister is smokin hot,” and compliments such as “beautifully written.”

In an earlier interview with Valleywag, Moghadam apologized for his additions.

"I was fascinated by the fact that a text was associated with such a heartbreaking crime, especially since Elliot is talking about my neighborhood growing up," he said. 

"I got carried away with making the annotations and making fany comment about his sister was in horrible taste, thankfully the rap genius community edits out my poor judgement, I am very sorry for writing it."

Though the statement said he resigned of his own will, Re/code reports that sources close to the matter say he was asked to leave the company after pressure from investors.

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