GoDaddy.com has been known as the Internet domain-hosting company with the biggest stars advertising for them -- from Danica Patrick to Joan Rivers and Jillian Michaels. But their squeaky-fun reputation could all change, thanks to their CEO Bob Parsons' revolting behavior.
See, like many CEOs of major dot-com companies, he must have a lot of money and vacation time, and earlier this month, he spent both to go to Zimbabwe and shoot an elephant, then take a video of the act and post it online.
The video ended up going viral today, when PETA launched a boycott against GoDaddy.com. As you can imagine, they're not big fans of the hunting in the video, and there's a really graphic scene where villagers butcher the elephant. As you'll see, if you can stand to watch the video, Parsons made sure to shamelessly plug the company by giving the villagers GoDaddy.com baseball caps to wear as they dig into the fresh flesh of the elephant. Oh, and that part is set to AC/DC's "Hells Bells." Classy.
PETA has been up to some seriously ridiculous shenanigans lately, what with asking San Francisco to change the name of the "Tenderloin" district to "Tempeh." (Insert eye roll.) But, their boycott of Parsons is one campaign of theirs that I can certainly get behind.
Parsons seems to think what he did was heroic. He's responded to tons of angry comments by writing:
The people there have very little, many die each year from starvation and one of the problems they have is the elephants, of which there are thousands and thousands, that trash many of their fields destroying the crops ... These people have literally nothing and when an elephant is killed it's a big event for them, they are going to be able to eat some protein. This is no different than you or I eating beef.
But many people aren't buying how this justifies his actions.
PETA, for one, counters that:
Elephant offspring stay with their mothers for many years -- males for up to 15 years and females for their entire lives. Killing a single elephant can devastate a family, and their mourning ritual over the death of a family member rivals any that we humans have developed.
And as for elephants "destroying the crops," because there are plenty of ways to prevent that HUMANELY, like using chili-infused string and beehives on poles to create low-cost "fences." Overall, I echo the sentiments of many who have seen what Parsons did; to me, it doesn't make sense on any level to kill an endangered, defenseless, majestic animal like this, and then to add insult to injury, flaunt it in a video posted online.
It's cruel, inhumane, and sick.
You can see the video he posted for yourself, but WARNING -- it's very graphic ...
What makes this even worse is that Parsons is not only defensive but PROUD of what he's doing. And he says he'll go back next year. We'll see about that, because I'm not sure he'll be as keen if this incident continues to create public relations misery for him and GoDaddy ... which he fully deserves.
If you want to move your site off of GoDaddy, try Sedo; they're an awesome leader in the biz that happens to also be elephant killer-free! Or transfer your site through Namecheap for $4.99 through 11:59 p.m. EST on 4/1/11, and they'll donate $1 for each transfer to Save the Elephants.
What do you think about Parsons killing the elephant, then posting a video of it online -- is it inappropriate? Would you boycott GoDaddy because of it?
Image via Donna Brown/Flickr