Alexis Ohanian and wife Serena Williams are speaking out about his resignation from the board of Reddit, encouraging that a Black candidate be installed as his replacement.
Ohanian sat down for a conversation with Williams, with a video of that discussion shared on Instagram.
“This was not an easy decision at all,” Ohanian said, explaining that he felt compelled to resign “upon reflecting on the state of where our country is right now” and how he contribute in a positive way.
“I thought about what I could do beyond a social media post, beyond a donation,” he continued.
“We need diversity at the highest levels of business now more than ever,” Ohanian added. “Once I realized why I needed to do it, it became very easy.”
Williams insisted that she had nothing to do with his decision. “A lot of people might think I told you to do something, or I forced you — ” she said, prompting a laugh from Ohanian. “He doesn’t listen to me, ever.”
“I thought about what those dollars could do for a community that has clearly suffered for far too long, and that I with my power and my influence and my privilege want to do something meaningful to start to show a change. To make a better world for Olympia,” Ohanian said of the couple’s 2-year-old daughter.
“I wanted to put as much weight behind the gesture as I could because I felt I owed it to you and I owed it to her,” he said.
“One of the things that really broke me at some point in the last week, I was looking at Olympia, she’s 2½ now, and she is such a pure, just blank canvas. She only knows love. There is not an ounce of hate in her body,” he continued.
“That’s the crushing thing. At some point, Olympia is going to have to have a talk with you, a talk with us, but especially a talk with you, about how she’s going to have to work that much harder, how she’s going to have to deal with this much more, that pisses me off,” he admitted.
“I’m sitting here like, if I’m this pissed off just now, how have you been able to endure your entire life?” he asked Williams. “How have generations of Black Americans been able to endure your entire life? Because If I’m just getting this mad right now, I wouldn’t be able to function.”
“It’s hard. It is definitely not easy,” Williams said. “It’s something that unfortunately has become normal for us.”