ColourLovers Learns a Lesson About Jesus?

Lindsay has a fabulous post about Colourlovers and why she is boycotting them. To be perfectly fair I’ve only heard of Colourlovers in passing so if I joined a boycott that would be like me boycotting a prostate exam.

Earlier today the Creative director at Colourlovers tweeted the following:

how can someone live with themselves after having an abortion

The issue isn’t that some random guy tried to punish women who might already be close to jumping off a cliff. The issue is that this incredibly provocative post came from the creative director of a rather large website.

Shaun Moynihan

The whole story is over at Linday’s blog and it’s a good read.

The takeaway here is multilayered. Colourlovers has had Mr. Moynihan remove their @COLOURlovers from his twitter bio (which might have been a good preemptive move) but will it be too late?

I understand that Shaun Moynihan feels strongly about Jesus and the afterlife. What he might not understand is that many of us feel very strongly about this life. Not everyone is Xtian… in fact a shocking number of us still “need saving” and the Rabbis always put the mother before the fetus. All of this is absolutely besides the point but I did want to mention to the folks at ColourLovers that some folks are tired of evangelists.

Tell me what ColourLovers has to do with my uterus? Explain to me, someone make it clear to me why work and pregnancy are intertwined. Part of me feels badly for Shaun Moynihan because maybe he didn’t understand that his twitter stream is public, but most of me feels badly for the women who loved using ColourLovers and now feel like it’s a place that hates women.

I love that @bubs responded like this.

Darius A Monsef IV

But I want to know from you. Is this too little too late? Will other brands pay attention to this when they create guidelines for social media usage? Is the design community going to let this pass?

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Comments 33

  1. Hold the Ficking Phone!  Are you kidding me?  I live with myself just fine that you Mr. Asshole.
    I have no clue who or what COlourLovers is, nor do I care. 

  2. If his twitter stream is his personal stream then I don’t really see the problem with it. Everyone has opinions and should be allowed to voice them. Now if it’s a “business” profile, I could see the issue. 

  3. I think everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I don’t think it’s good to rush to annihilate someone who has a different opinion that your own. That said, the CD at Colourlovers was definitely in the wrong for posting this tweet, as it WAS inferred by his bio that he represents the brand. I feel very bad for the brand, as the whole beehive came down on it for something they have no legal right to know or judge their employee’s stance on abortion. Although I support a woman’s right to abortion, I can see the other side of the opinion, and I don’t think it’s fair to judge a company that has been doing good and fair business until this personal opinion was revealed. 

    1. Alexandra – I agree with you to a point.  I hold CL accountable for his ignorant actions if they don’t fire him.  If they do, they’ve made a statement.  If not, they’ve also made a statement.  In this case, not all publicity is good publicity.  XO Debbie

      1. You think they should FIRE him? For tweeting something on his personal twitter account?  Reprimand him.. yes..Require him to remove his work place from his account.. yes.. but Fire him?  That’s ridiculous.  You just don’t like him because he is against abortion.

        1. @c492029bd5dd0f7012633cf34842ccc2:disqus no, I don’t think he should be fired for his stance on abortion.

           I think he should be fired for his response to Lindsey, when she told him “You can have all the opinions you want.  That doesn’t mean I will support your business.  His response: 
          “Your loss frankly.” 

          He’s an asshole who has no idea how to respond to a customer who is upset.  As the owner of a business that employs over 200 people, I can tell you that this guy would be out the door for talking to a customer like that via social media.

          1. I have to agree with Debbie here. He was giving his personal opinion, which I think he should be able to do, but then he brought it back around to his company and basically told a customer who didn’t agree with him that they don’t need her business. In that statement he was talking as an employee of the company not just an individual.  (I think was he said was disgusting just to be clear.) 

          2. Exactly!  That is why, when famous people make a verbal misstep, they have a publicist to help them issue a statement to apologize and try to make them look better, not turn them loose on twitter to write assholish comments to people who were offended. This guy should be fired for the comment, his responses to others, and his inability to control himself.

        2. I’ll go ahead and say they should fire him. He’s left a black stain on their company’s reputation – that’s a firing offense to me. They should choose to not associate with someone who behaves like that.

    2. But don’t you want to know when a company might be influenced and driven by a misogynistic asshole? People like that never seem to hold at “personal opinion,” they seem to simply HAVE to take action to push their beliefs on others, as we see has happened here. If a company employs such a person in a powerful position, I have to conclude that he will leverage his position to support his views (as we see happened here with this guy who used his company twitter to issue his statement) and that I shouldn’t do business with that company because they are probably doing misogynistic stuff.

      For instance there’s a furniture company where I live that supplies anti-choice and anti-gay protesters with shirts and stuff for their protest actions. They don’t do that under the company banner but they still do it, so I never ever EVER would buy anything from that company.

      1. He wasn’t tweeting from a company account. He was tweeting from his own account that was linked to the corporate account.
        Which I think is an important distinction. The account has since been de-linked and you’ll see the founder @bubs has stated that they’ve “learned a lesson”.
        I personally don’t like the guy, but I think the business has acted appropriately at this point.
        Most importantly I suspect they can save another company from having the same issue moving forward.

  4. It’s still literally unbelievable when people think they should have control over someone else’s body. Literally. Unbelievable.

    In any case – people who are use their business profiles to express political opinions, or even have their business connections listed on their personal profiles, should expect to have backlash from saying something like that. Oh hell, everyone who uses social media should expect that people are watching and know the connections between people and their employers, so, I dunno, don’t be an asshole with oppressive and misogynistic views? And I don’t just mean “…on Twitter.”

    1. And to complete that thought people who have strong beliefs in other ways need to know that by making them public some opportunities will disappear.
      I know that because I’m outspoken there are jobs that I will never have. That’s one of the many choices I’ve made.

      1. Exactly. I’m the same so I’ve created a career situation that allows me to be who I am and utilize my opinions to further my business ventures. As you say, it’s a choice we all make.

  5. Hmm, I dont know Jess. I believe that if you hold public office that your personal opinions are consistently accountable. But I will feel sad if we bully companies to hold responsible an action of an employee in their own personal affairs. Thats like saying because I work at Target ( I don’t, just an example) that I cannot get drunk at the club. Maybe if I was wearing a Target shirt and flashing my badge as a rep there, but if I am in jeans….kwim?  To me, he has a right to host his opinion, which isnt one that is far from a norm opinion. Its not one I share, but he is entitled to discuss it on his twitter stream. I realize that he had his business URL there, but I dont believe he was acting as a representative of that business and was just in his bio. 

    trisha

    1. Trisha – Your example makes no sense!  This man represents a customer-service related business and used his Twitter account, which is also a work account, to spout off hateful and ignorant politics.  Debbie

      1. Which is what makes the discussion interesting. 

        DID he represent his company at that point? To us, yes, to the company???? Maybe they didn’t think of it but that doesn’t much matter now does it. 

        They say you can’t unring the bell. 

        1. I don’t think he intended his comment to reflect on the company, but nevertheless he had that company’s name in his profile, ergo…..yes Trish if you were out getting sloppy drunk in your Target uniform and name tag it would reflect poorly upon target and they would have grounds for termination.

    2. This is interesting. Does an elected official have to be accountable for his/her opinions so long as he/she represents the people in a responsible and honest manner?  For instance there are a few politicians who don’t support abortion but still vote to keep it legal because that is what their constituents want.

  6. There has to be some personal responsibility here.  If you are representing a brand through your Twitter profile, you need to keep personal opinions in check.  It sounds like he is either a complete idiot or just didn’t care.  I think if I were a decision maker at ColourLovers I would be really irritated right now.

  7. I’m confused about whether this is really a business or personal profile of someone who is well known for their job. If it is officially being used for biz then DUH. No religion or politics. It’s like a dinner party with inlaws. Shut up and don’t say anything controversial. That’s common sense.

    I find his opinions repugnant personally but fully believe he is entitled to them and it really has nothing to do with the business. I’m not about to boycott the business over his stupidity and lack of social sense. He’s their problem, not mine, as long as they are not backing his insanity and political views.

    I think the term is loose cannon, no? It’s aimed right back at himself.

    Look at it this way. At least he did not tweet a pic of his privates. That would have been worse. Especially if it was colorful.

  8. I think that the 2012 campaign season/year is going to bring out a whole lot impassioned people putting opinions before facts in very public forums.

    I love discourse and debate, but hate speech is a deal breaker – I’m pro-choice but I would find him just as offensive it he was saying really horrible things about evangelicals. Hate speech doesn’t work for me in any direction. It seems that from politics to people working IN social media, people seem to forget that twitter streams are public unless you lock them. And followers aren’t the same thing as friends.

  9. I have strong opinions too, and often express them, fight for them and boycott companies that I feel support hate. I feel everyone does have the right to express their beliefs even if they are stupid and hateful
    I do wish I was in that office tomorrow (the owner looks like a really nice guy too and a new dad

  10. Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about this one. I’d hate to think that because ShePosts is in my bio, that I can never express an opinion via twitter that is personal or controversial. And also, if I boycott every place where the management thinks differently on political issues, I probably wouldn’t have many places to shop. It will be interesting to see how we navigate the personal vs. the professional on twitter, because if this guy was at a cocktail party, disclosed where he worked, and then shared a personal opinion, I don’t know if he would be held accountable for representing the company in that space.  I tend to think of twitter as a social space first, and if we act as though every word uttered there on a personal account is a representation of their workplace, it will become very limiting for people to use it socially.
     
    Also (and I know you know this) . . . that guy definitely does not represent the views of all Christians.

    1. ” I’d hate to think that because ShePosts is in my bio, that I can never express an opinion via twitter that is personal or controversial.”

      Do you think that if you decide to be provocative it would be prudent to separate yourself from the ShePosts twitter account? 

      I don’t think that he was being controversial so much as biting and provocative (and I do think there’s a distinction). 

      Because of your influence in this space I’m very curious about your take on the incident. 

  11. Seems to me if an individual is going to have a Twitter account, and also tweet for work via a work account, he shouldn’t have his work Twitter handle in his personal bio. Even if he wasn’t tweeting horribly polarizing statements he would probably eventually say something that didn’t represent the thoughts or opinions of his company.  Oh and p.s. what he said makes me sick.

  12. I’m strangely not bothered by this at all. It’s his account even if he does have linked where he works, both are a part of him. Not everybody is going to agree and some people are going to have views I disagree with, opinions I am irritated by, personalities that piss me off and so what? I would unfollow him and leave it at that. (well I may respond with several rather um…pointed messages first) So he is tweeting ‘potentially’ offensive things, so what? It wasn’t directed at an individual, it was generally offensive and that I am fine with. (a strange line perhaps but a line) I think his company is well within their rights to make him remove their handle from his bio but life is life, some people are irritating, now I know he is one of those people.

  13. It’s incredible, the type of opinions that are censored so viciously. It’s also incredible how many people – particularly non-Christians – don’t understand Jesus’ warning about being judgmental, and it’s incredible how many people – especially non-Christians – throw that non-judgmental clause in the face of Christians to shut them up.

    The point of the matter is this: Shaun Moynihan isn’t comfortable with child murder. And for that, he’s been slandered all over a sector of the internet. Are all of you comfortable with child murder? I’m not, either, and that’s why I just added Shaun Moynihan to my friends list.

    ColourLovers, and Shaun Moynihan, just gained a staunch supporter.

      1.  Hi Jessica,

        I wish it were as simple as being “late to the party.” Truth of the matter is, this blog post is on the internet. It’s as good as permanent.

        While Mr. Moynihan had to remove his company affiliation from his Twitter profile, due to a landslide of hate that he received for defending helpless children from brutal murder, I’m not certain whether he still works for ColourLovers or not. I, for one, hope he does.

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