A gay Asian man is attempting to launch a class action lawsuit against Grindr.
Sinakhone Keodara is the CEO of Asian Entertainment Television, Inc. He says he wants to sue the Chinese-owned company for ‘racial discrimination’. Keodora blasts the app for allowing users to post what he describes as humiliating and degrading comments about Asian men.
In a tweet announcing his intention, Keodara says he wants to find other Asian men in each of the US’s 50 states in order to launch a class action lawsuit. Anyone interested in joining the action must be a paid member of the app, not using the free service only.
‘This is complete bullshit’
He says: ‘I’m planning to bring a national, class-action lawsuit against gay hookup app Grindr for racial discrimination and I’m looking for co-plantiffs [sic] across all 50 states.
‘Please spread my call for co-plaintiffs to all your gay Asian men in your life that has been offended, humiliated, degraded and dehumanized by Grindr allowing gay white men to write in their profiles “No Asians,” “Not interested in Asians,” or “I don’t find Asians attractive.”
‘This is complete bullshit and I’m suing Grindr for being a breeding ground that perpetuates racism against gay Asian mean [sic].
‘Now, in order to join my lawsuit, these gay Asian men Grinder [sic] users must be paying customers and they can’t join if they’re using the free app.’
GSN asked Keodara what action he believes Grindr should take against users posting ‘No Asians’.
‘I’d like for Grindr to monitor and censor users who post racist, anti-Asian, anti-Black sentiments in their profiles the way it censors words that allude to drug paraphernelia, drug use, sex acts and nudity.
‘They should start by updating their profile guideline to as it relates to race to state: “You can’t post racist, bigoted ‘preference’ in your profile. We won’t tolerate it and you will be banned permanently”.’
He had little time for those who claims such comments are just an expression of preference.
‘Singling out and invalidating an entire race is not expressing a preference; it’s spewing anti-Asian sentiments and it’s racist.
‘Gay Asian men, and black as we’re expanding the class to include black gay men, shouldn’t have to pay for our own oppression. Why should I have to fork over $14.99 a month to use the service only to be degraded, humiliated and dehumanized for my race while I’m trying to get my rocks off?’
Tech entrepreneur Joel Simkhai launched Grindr in 2009. One of the first geosocial networking sites on the market, it benefited from the explosion in smartphone use and quickly became one of the most popular dating apps for gay and bisexual men. It says it has over 2million daily users.
In 2016, it sold a majority 61.5% shareholding to China’s Beijing Kunlun Tech for $93million. This was followed last year by the gaming company buying the remaining 38.5% for $152million – given it overall ownership.
GSN has contacted Grindr for comment on the proposed lawsuit.
UPDATE: Article updated 11 July 2018 to include comments from Sinakhone Keodara.