Grindr, the gay hookup app, is removing ethnicity from its profile filters.
The change is a display of “solidarity,” Grindr officials said, with the Black Lives Matter movement and queer people of color. In a public statement on June 1, the company said it would not be silent or inactive.
“Today we are making donations to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and Black Lives Matter, and urge you to do the same if you can. We will continue to fight racism on Grindr, both through dialogue with our community and a zero-tolerance policy for racism and hate speech on our platform. As part of this commitment, and based on your feedback, we have decided to remove the ethnicity filter from our next release,” the company posted on its social media channels.
First released in 2009, Grindr has a sordid history in queer culture with stories ranging from burglaries to marriages. In 2016, a Chinese online gaming company, Beijing Kunlun Tech Co. purchased a majority stake in Grindr. At the time, Grindr claimed two million users in 196 countries.
Last week, the U.S. government approved the sale of Grindr to San Vicente Acquisition, L.L.C. — a Delaware based investment group — for a reported $600 million. The deal was prompted by a divestment order from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to Kunlun in May 2019.