Facebook Executive Angers Employees by Attending Kavanaugh Hearing

Social media company has another controversy on its hands, was planning to hold a town hall on Friday

Image Credit: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Every day seems to bring with it a new controversy for social media company Facebook.

The latest is an internal battle after a senior executive at the company attended last week’s Senate hearing at which Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, both testified.

Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s policy chief, was seen sitting behind Kavanaugh at the hearing. He was reportedly there for personal business only.

He and Kavanaugh served together in the Bush administration.

Employees are not too happy with that appearance, and Facebook will be holding a town hall with employees to air grievances, according to reports.

The town hall was said to have been scheduled for Friday, but there are no other details about it thus far.

Do you support individual military members being able to opt out of getting the COVID vaccine?

By completing the poll, you agree to receive emails from LifeZette, occasional offers from our partners and that you've read and agree to our privacy policy and legal statement.

“There is absolutely no such thing as personal capacity when you’re a high level manage/executive at the company … I might feel uncomfortable sharing the workplace with this person now,” one employee said in a message that was viewed by Business Insider.

Another said, “I think having the VP of the company sit in support of someone with sexual assault allegations is inappropriate.”

A Facebook spokesperson said about the controversy in an official statement, “Sexual assault is an issue society has turned a blind eye to for far too long — compounding every victim’s pain. Our leadership team recognizes that they’ve made mistakes handling the events of the last week and we’re grateful for all the feedback from our employees.”

In one complaint obtained by The New York Times, a Facebook employee reportedly said, “Let’s assume for a minute that our VP of Policy understands how Senate hearings work … His seat choice was intentional, knowing full well that journalists would identify every public figure appearing behind Kavanaugh.”

This person continued, “He knew that this would cause outrage internally, but he knew that he couldn’t get fired for it. This was a protest against our culture, and a slap in the face to his fellow employees.”

The Facebook town hall comes after an internal failure to address concerns from employees.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly sent a message to employees saying Kaplan had not violated any company rules, but that he personally would not have made the same decision.

Kaplan himself even apologized and said, “I want to apologize. I recognize this moment is a deeply painful one — internally and externally … I believe in standing by your friends, especially when times are tough for them.”

Related: Sen. Collins Will Vote Yes for Brett Kavanaugh

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly sent a message to employees saying Kaplan had not violated any company rules, but that he personally would not have made the same decision.

Kavanaugh has been accused by three women of sexual misconduct — and has vehemently denied all such accusations.

The final vote on his confirmation to the Supreme Court will take place on Saturday morning.

Join the Discussion

COMMENTS POLICY: We have no tolerance for messages of violence, racism, vulgarity, obscenity or other such discourteous behavior. Thank you for contributing to a respectful and useful online dialogue.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments