Microsoft has pulled a video ad from GoogleNews, a news aggregator, after it was accused of racism and bigotry by a group of black women.
The ad featured the hashtag #DontHateMe on the front page of a new video news site called “Black People on YouTube.”
It was a message about “black men who care about you,” but the hashtag was removed after complaints from the group of Black women who work in the news and information space.
“The Microsoft brand is built on diversity, inclusion, and inclusion in the workplace,” a company statement said in a statement, adding that “We believe the use of the hashtag is offensive, sexist, and has no place in our product and community.”
A spokesperson for Microsoft told CNNMoney the ad is “not related to Microsoft and has nothing to do with our products or communities.”
The company said it was “aware of the comments” but that it was not a part of the decision to pull the ad.
The video, which was uploaded to YouTube on Sunday, was originally created for an online conference called the #AskBlackWomen conference.
The hashtag was initially used in the video, when a panel was discussing Black women in tech and their impact in tech.
The group of female attendees who spoke at the conference said the ad was offensive and included “negative and harmful” language.
The group was also upset that the video had been removed.
“I think the ad itself is a slap in the face,” Black Women on YouTube co-founder Lizzie Pinto told CNN.
“The way that it’s been handled was really, really upsetting.”
Microsoft has been criticized by several tech and Black tech experts over its response to the #DONTHATEME campaign, which the company said had nothing to with diversity or inclusion.
Microsoft has apologized for the ad, and the company is currently working with the women to address the issues raised in the ad in a “more positive and inclusive way.”
“We know that there are important conversations that are going on in tech today and we will continue to work with our community partners to make sure that we are listening and taking action when we see things that are upsetting or that are out of line,” Microsoft said in an email.
Microsoft said it plans to continue to invest in diversity in its workforce.
“We’re committed to hiring people of color and we’re committed for years to building our diversity in our leadership,” the company told CNN in a blog post.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told CNN that the company “strongly values diversity in leadership” and is taking steps to make its workforce more diverse.
The company has said it is committed to making its workforce 10% more diverse in the next three years, and it announced the hiring of a senior vice president for diversity and inclusion.