‘It is an atrocious time’: OpenAI CEO urges unity in tech sector for Muslim, Arab colleagues

CEO says employees feel uncomfortable speaking out over fear of retaliation

‘It is an atrocious time’: OpenAI CEO urges unity in tech sector for Muslim, Arab colleagues

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman called for unity within the tech industry to support Muslim and Arab colleagues feeling discomfort in speaking out about their experiences.

Altman said on X that Muslim and Arab colleagues, especially Palestinians, in the tech industry feel uncomfortable talking about their recent experiences "often out of fear of retaliation and damaged career prospects."

"Our industry should be united in our support of these colleagues; it is an atrocious time. I continue to hope for a real and lasting peace, and that in the meantime we can treat each other with empathy," he said on the platform.

The CEO, who is Jewish, added he has not seen much support for Muslims the way that he has been supported by many people in the tech industry.

"I believe that antisemitism is a significant and growing problem in the world, and I see a lot of people in our industry sticking up for me, which I deeply appreciate," he said. "I see much less of that for Muslims."

Rising antisemitism in workplaces

Altman made the remarks amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, which has seen a spike of antisemitism across the world.

In the United Kingdom, BBC previously reported that the ongoing conflict has quadrupled antisemitism incidents there.

In Canada, the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) called out a "sharp spike in anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism, Islamophobia, and antisemitism" across the country.

"We vehemently condemn these acts," the OFL said in a statement. "The labour movement has a long tradition of speaking out against war. In our own organizations, we pledge to create safer, welcoming, and inclusive spaces for members to continue discussing this issue."

To prevent antisemitism in workplaces, the Anti-Defamation League also encouraged chief executive officers of major corporations to sign a pledge that would commit them to stamping out antisemitism.

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