Right after settling a controversial lawsuit against it earlier this month (via VentureBeat), the startup site and media company Upload has responded regarding the surrounding issue with an open letter. The co-founders of the dedicated virtual reality company have reached out with their apologies on the matter.
They begin their open letter by addressing the community with this apology:
“We want to apologize for the turmoil the past few months have caused. This has been an incredibly difficult time for our members and students in the LA and SF spaces, our partners, advisors, investors, the Upload team members, both past and present, and the community at large. As leaders of this organization, we let you down and we are sorry.
We understand the silence from our end has been deafening to many of you who are looking for answers. We also realize that our response to the initial statement request exacerbated the problem by immediately discrediting the need for self-reflection. These last few months have been a driver of change that brought forth difficult but important conversations about our internal culture and the overall state of diversity and inclusion within the industry. Although we’ve stayed quiet externally during this process, we have been focused internally on assessing ourselves, examining our culture and finding the right team to help us build the most inclusive and empowering environment possible going forward.”
That is just a snippet of the open letter that can be read in its entirety on the website here. The CEO of Upload Taylor Freeman and President Will Mason go on to explain the measures and lengths they are going to regarding a solution to the matter.
The first of which is the announcement of new core members that have been hired in the wake of the aftermath to evaluate and review Upload as a whole, beginning with a dedicated HR team.
These support teams consist of both “internal and external” staff members that will establish fair salary, HR training for the entire company, and safety measures for reporting any future issues.
In addition, four new executive officers have been brought in, including a new COO, to restructure the company even further. This is all in response to the lawsuit filed against Upload and its co-founders last spring by the former Director of Digital and Social Media.
The lawsuit stated that there was “rampant sexual behavior and focus”, including a “kink room” in the offices that the male employees would use for sexual acts at the workplace. That is but a small part of the lawsuit – the rest can be read here – that has since been settled outside of court with undisclosed terms.