SAN FRANCISCO: Slack has apologized for Hummus Day activity that apparently offended some users.
In an Easter egg, work productivity platform allows users to change their notifications to a woman saying the word "hummus," in reference to the Middle Eastern chickpea snack dip. And often on National Hummus Day, the company references the quirk on social media.
TIL: You can change your slack notification from the knock sound to a British woman saying "Hummus."— Sheel Mohnot (@pitdesi) July 20, 2020
Hit CMD-comma to open the dialog pic.twitter.com/MdkhFjaMSz
As of Wednesday, plans appeared to be proceeding as usual for this year’s Hummus Day.
What can we say? We really like hummus.— Slack (@SlackHQ) May 12, 2021
But on Thursday afternoon, the platform posted an apology on Twitter, noting that “this year, and specifically today, was not the right time to do that.” The tweet ended with Slack thanking its community for holding it accountable.
The post prompted confused reactions from users who questioned the reason for Slack’s apology, though some speculated it is because of conflict in the Middle East between Israel and Palestinians, and a renewed boycott of Middle Eastern food company Sabra, which sells hummus products. Though U.S.-owned, Sabra has previously been the subject of scrutiny by Palestinian advocacy groups, as it is part of a joint venture between PepsiCo and the Strauss Group, an Israeli food company that provided financial support to Israel Defense Forces.
No matter what anyone says, Israelis are the real Hummustinians. Jews from Sabra, Tribe, and other brands are the TOP sellers of Hummus around the world, even in Muslim countries that ban Israeli products (they label them in another way and sneak them in) #Israel #Jews #HAMAS https://t.co/ngREvb8J4A— Debbie Schlussel (@bitchitsdebbie) May 13, 2021
1. International Hummus Day is a thing— spectres be haunting (@roadtoserfdumb) May 13, 2021
2. Slack posts about their hummus emoji or whatever
3. People get mad because it reminds them of Sabra i guess, which is on the bds list? idk why ppl were mad really
Others suggested "hummus" sounds too much like the organization Hamas.
genuinely think there’s a 1/5 chance someone at slack confused hummus with hamas??? https://t.co/h5BaFb1QdL— Mike Solana (@micsolana) May 13, 2021
Others saw no need for an apology at all, and instead criticized Slack for doing so.
I just searched Slack's mentions and found all of three tweets critiquing their Hummus Day posts.— Yesh Ginsburg (@yesh222) May 13, 2021
This might be a record in backtracking. https://t.co/4yV77V0vyY
If this wasn’t so idiotic, it would be hilarious. Fight real fights. https://t.co/eelFi10SyN— Trent Meyer (@TrentMeyerAg) May 13, 2021
I am so confused. What is going on? Do people not like hummus now? Hummus is delicious.— Will Stone (@LatentSpac3) May 13, 2021
Food is also political now. https://t.co/6tD9jFWrmm— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) May 13, 2021
<Slack board meeting, with tears in their eyes>— Berny Belvedere (@bernybelvedere) May 13, 2021
"Abort the hummus tweets. Though we would die for this dish, there is a regional conflict happening in another part of the world and that makes our enjoyment of hummus a despicable act of complicity with evil."