In his campaign bid, US presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg has pledged to “always be a champion” for women in the workplace. “Working with Michael Bloomberg was one of the most empowering experiences that I’ve had,” said former employee, Shari Hyman in a campaign video testimonial made available online on February 16 on Bloomberg’s YouTube channel.
Reports of past racist and sexist remarks emerged when a booklet called “The Portable Bloomberg: The Wit and Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg” – containing alleged past comments and initially given as a gag birthday gift – was reported by Business Insider.
The gift was presented to Bloomberg on his 48th birthday, on February 14, 1990, which was put together by his financial, software, data and media company Bloomberg LP employees who recorded some of his comments over the years.
According to a Washington Post report, Bloomberg had allegedly settled lawsuits made against him for fostering a culture of discrimination against women at Bloomberg LP circa 1980 – 1990. The lawsuits were found to either have been dismissed, settled or closed due to the plaintiff missing filing deadlines.
According to CNN, a spokesperson for Bloomberg said that he does not tolerate any kind of discrimination or harassment. “Virtually all of this has been reported over the past two decades. In any large organization, there are going to be complaints – but Mike simply does not tolerate any kind of discrimination or harassment, and he’s created cultures that are all about equality and inclusion,” said the spokesperson for the Bloomberg campaign in a statement provided to CNN.
“I would not be where I am today without the talented women around me. I’ve depended on their leadership, their advice and their contributions. As I’ve demonstrated throughout my career, I will always be a champion for women in the workplace,” Bloomberg tweeted on February 15.
NYPD ‘Stop and frisk’ numbers
Bloomberg has also recently found himself in hot water over the ‘stop and frisk’ numbers practiced by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) during his era as the mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013. The “stop and frisk” policy involves stopping a person briefly in order to search them for weapons or prohibited items.
According to data from 2002 to 2013 by digital media website Mashable reporter Matt Binder, the police department reportedly made almost 700,000 stops in 2011, allegedly targeting young black and Hispanic men – the impact of which Bloomberg later apologized for.