Matt Rivitz, the co-founder of Sleeping Giants, a liberal activist group formed to pressure companies to stop advertising on conservative news sites and networks, apologized on Friday to fellow co-founder Nandini Jammi after she posted a long piece on Medium in which she outlined how Rivitz had systematically diminished her role and contributions to the point that she felt that her only choice was to leave.
“Without my knowledge, my story was being defined by someone else — a white man who could use his platform to exclude me, diminish me, or disappear me entirely. He never once invited me to join him,” she wrote. “I never had any idea he was doing any of these interviews until it was too late.”
After seeing a post on Instagram from Rivitz about picking up an award at Cannes that she knew nothing about Jammi could now fully see what Rivitz was doing to her and decided to quit.
“I went into a downward spiral when I realized what a big deal this was: What have I been spending every single day working on? Did anyone know I existed? That I was working on this too? Why didn’t he ever mention this to me?”
“I felt humiliated. I spent the week unable to eat, sleep, or function — I had put on my personal website that I’m “founding organizer” of Sleeping Giants. Would people think I was lying about my involvement? Was I just here performing free labor in service of a white man’s personal brand?”
“I’m sorry I have to leave Sleeping Giants. There was always space for both of us, just not on this campaign.”
Rivtiz issued an apology on the Sleeping Giants Twitter account acknowledging Jammi as a co-founder and saying that she deserves more credit than she has been given for her work with the group.
“Nandini clearly deserves a lot more credit than she has gotten for her groundbreaking work with Sleeping Giants and I’d like to apologize to her and to anyone who may have felt this way during the course of this campaign as volunteers or as followers,” he wrote, “I don’t know where Sleeping Giants goes from here, but I hope the mission can continue and get stronger from this. I sincerely hope I can, too.”
A letter of apology. pic.twitter.com/gfMvAQuO4O
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) July 10, 2020
Jammi is continuing her fight against conservative news sites with the founding of CheckMyAds, which wants to help companies avoid sites she believes promote fake news, disinformation, and hate speech.
Photo via Sleeping Giants on Facebook