The CEO of domain name registrar GoDaddy is facing an online furor after the video he posted of himself killing an elephant in Africa went viral. After the elephant dies and CEO Bob Parsons poses next to it, villagers from all around come out to strip and devour the carcass on the spot. Many of them are wearing day-glo orange GoDaddy caps. As these images play in the video, “Hells Bells” provides the soundtrack. Now a backlash movement has started for folks to switch their domain providers away from GoDaddy.
Here’s a link to the graphic video, which may not be safe for your workplace.
“All these people that are complaining that this shouldn’t happen, that these people who are starving to death otherwise shouldn’t eat these elephants, you probably see them driving through at McDonald’s or cutting a steak,” Parsons told MyFoxPhoenix. “These people [Zimbabwe villagers] don’t have that option.”
The hunt is an annual expedition Bob takes each year to Zimbabwe to help curtail the local “problem elephant” population which trample the crops. In the second of the explanations he posted in response to the furor, he said:
I spend a few weeks in Zimbabwe each year helping the farmers deal with problem elephants. 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. The tribal authorities request that I and others like me, patrol the fields before and during the harvest — we can’t cover them all, there are just a few of us — and drive the elephant from the fields. The farmers try to run the elephants away by cracking whips, beating drums and lighting fires. All of this is ignored by the elephants. When my team catch elephants in a field (there are never just one) we typically kill one of them and the rest leave for good. After we kill an elephant the people butcher the elephant and it feeds a number of villages. 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. If at all possible we avoid elephant cows and only kill mature bulls. By just killing bulls it has no effect on the elephant social structure (as it is matriarchal) as well as the herd size. The reason is another bull quickly steps up and breeds in place of the bull taken.
I think there’s a lot of complicated issues at stake, from conservation to imperialism to the conflict between human and animal populations over resources. But it’s clear that posting a video of yourself shooting an elephant on safari and then people wearing baseball caps with your logo rip apart its flesh is going to make people upset.
“I kind of figured that this might happen. So be it, I’m not ashamed of what I did,” Parsons told myFoxPhoenix.
This isn’t the first time the CEO has courted controversy. His company’s SuperBowl ad submissions, featuring ample cleavage and sexualized scenarios that are supposed to be funny, have had difficulty getting approved by censors.
Bob frequently communicates with customers through a series of prolific blog and vlog posts. One of his recent vlogs was about how to be successful in life and was entitled “Why YOU should NEVER SWEAT what OTHERS THINK about YOU.”
Elephant Hunt Controversy Surrounds GoDaddy.com CEO [MyFoxPhoenix]
Hunting Problem Elephant [Video.Me]