Comcast Pulls Funding From Non-Profit Over Tweet Then Gives It Back

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In a brief fit of rage, Comcast pulled $18,000 worth of funding to the non-profit group Reel Grrls that would have covered their summer camp program. Why? Because of a Tweet. Comcast took heat for their decision and the funding was quickly reinstated. So, what exactly was in the offending Tweet? Did you think it might have something to do with a former FCC Commissioner approving the billion-dollar Comcast-NBCUniversal merger and then suddenly deciding to take a job with the newly-formed conglomerate? You guessed correctly.

The merger was approved by one Meredith Baker, who used to sit on the Federal Communications Commission board. In a move that looks like a blatant conflict of interest, Baker has been hired by Comcast as its senior vice president of government affairs. In other words, a lobbyist. Hmm. Yeah, just a hint of line-blurring between the public and private sectors. So naturally, Reel Grrls, which receives corporate funding from Comcast, expressed a bit of concern that Comcast would hire Baker for such a role:

Not long after that showed up, Comcast’s Steve Kipp, a vice president of communications, emailed the Seattle-based group and told them:

“I hope you can respect that this Tweet has put me in an indefensible position with my bosses … I cannot continue to ask them to approve funding for Reel Grrls, knowing that the digital footprint your organization has created about Comcast is a negative one.”

However, Comcast has come out saying that Kipp’s move was not approved by the company and that their funding will be reinstated.

Reel Grrls helps young women with diverse backgrounds thrive via media production, introducing them to female mentors in several aspects of the media field. Every year, they run a summer camp program that would have been unavailable if this funding had been taken away.

(Ars Technica)

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