Originally published: October 30, 2011
Last updated: November 2, 2011 - 11:51am
Weeks ahead of the premiere of a CNN documentary focusing on diversity in the tech industry, the charged issue is already generating sparks.
A heated debate broke out on Twitter after a preview screening of Black in America 4. Blogger-turned-investor Michael Arrington ignited a controversy with his comments about the visibility of minority-led companies. In the documentary, which airs November 13, Arrington talked about his difficulties finding African-American entrepreneurs to launch their ventures at his TechCrunch Disrupt conference -- and suggested he would accept almost any black entrepreneur, regardless of merit. "There's a guy, actually, his last company just launched at our event, and he's African-American. When he asked to launch -- actually, I think it was the other way around. I think I begged him," Arrington told CNN's Soledad O'Brien. "His startup's really cool. But he could've launched a clown show on stage, and I would've put him up there, absolutely," Arrington said. "I think it's the first time we've had an African-American [be] the sole founder."
It's a remark that didn't sit well with some in the tech community. Female and black entrepreneurs fired off tweets saying they didn't want to be treated any differently because of their skin color or gender.
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