Whitney Wolfe, a former vice president for marketing at Tinder, the wildly popular hookup facilitation app, is suing the company and its parent, IAC/InterActiveCorp, for sexual harassment and discrimination. In her lawsuit, Wolfe says that Tinder’s chief marketing officer, Justin Mateen, subjected her to constant sexually charged abuse and threats and that both Chief Executive Officer Sean Rad and his corporate supervisor, IAC’s Sam Yagan, looked the other way. IAC has suspended Mateen indefinitely. In a memo to employees, Rad called Mateen’s communications “unacceptable” while also calling Wolfe’s complaint “full of factual inaccuracies and omissions.”
The behavior Wolfe alleges in her complaint is awful: She says that Mateen, whom she dated, called her a “desperate loser” who “jumps from relationship to relationship,” a “joke,” a “gold digger,” a “disease,” a “whore,” and a “slut” who needed to be “watched” if she were to keep her job. Text messages Wolfe submitted to the court show Mateen disparaging “middle age Muslim pigs” and depicting IAC Chairman Barry Diller “as a penis.” Tinder CEO Rad, Wolfe says, dismissed her pleas for help as “dramatic” and told her that if she and Mateen couldn’t get along, she would be fired.