Scruff founders Eric Silverberg (below, right) and Johnny Skandros (below, left) have defended the app’s feature that allows users to filter out entire races in their search for love, lust and companionship, but is catering to people’s deep-rooted racial preferences really the right idea?
In an interview with BuzzFeed News, the duo was asked to respond to the idea that the race filter “enables” and “compounds” racial stereotypes.
Those are legitimate critiques,” Silverberg begins before changing course. “Ultimately we wanted to build an app and a service that enables guys to find the kind of guys they’re into and for some people that includes…” He stops himself and continues: “That can mean many things for different people. Sometimes they have ethnic preferences, sometimes they have height/weight preferences, sometimes people have body hair preferences.”
“Right!” pipes up Skandros with the knowing chuckle of a man who has fallen victim to ruthless body hair discrimination.
“A person’s choice of partner is deeply personal,” Silverberg added to BuzzFeed. “And I don’t think we would presume to judge or tilt one’s choice of sexual partner, boyfriend, or husband.”
“Ultimately each one of our own individual choices is profoundly informed by the community we grow up in, perhaps by the relationships we had with our siblings or parents. I mean, to try and unpack that would probably take years for each person and so…I don’t know…I give wide latitude to other people when they talk about the kind of people they’re into.”
“Outside of your sexual partner, boyfriend, or husband, yes I think it’s good and right to see our assumptions challenged, our biases challenged, and certainly in the public sphere and the workplace,” he continued. “But when it comes to the very personal choice of who you’re partnered with it’s something we leave to our members.”
What do you think? Are these filters indeed racist?