Magic Leap sued for sex discrimination and false marketing

Facebook People Chief: Focus on fixing sexism
Facebook People Chief: Focus on fixing sexism

Magic Leap, the mysterious and much-hyped augmented reality startup, is being sued for sex discrimination and knowingly distributing false advertising.

In a lawsuit filed in the Southern Florida District Court, Tannen Campbell, former VP of marketing, accuses Magic Leap of having a sexist, hostile work environment. Further, the suit claims Magic Leap ignored Campbell's concerns about distributing false marketing materials.

Magic Leap did not respond to CNNTech's request for comment.

The suit alleges Campbell was hired to address Magic Leap's "pink/blue problem," or the internal idea that the product did not appeal to women. It also claims executives repeatedly ignored her attempts to present information to help solve gender imbalance within the company. Magic Leap does not say it's an "equal opportunity employer" on its website where it lists "Wizards Wanted," the suit says.

The suit goes in depth about the gender norms of wizards.

"Given that a 'wizard' generally is defined as 'a man who has magical powers,' and virtually without exception images of wizards are male, Magic Leap's recruiting verbiage contains a not-so-subtle 'women-need-not-apply' message," according to the suit.

The lawsuit also lists numerous incidents of sexist behavior from executives and employees.

Despite considerable attention from the tech press and a $4.5 billion valuation, Magic Leap, founded in 2011, has not released a product for public consumption. The company has, however, distributed videos of what it says its mixed reality headset will be able to do -- overlay images and video on the real world.

According to a December report from The Information, marketing videos were designed by special effects companies.

The lawsuit claims Campbell's male colleagues said "the images and videos presented on Magic Leap's website and on YouTube were 'aspirational,' and not Magic Leap's version of 'alternate facts.'"

Last week, Business Insider published a photo of what it claims is Magic Leap's prototype -- a large bulky wearable strapped to a man's back and hooked up to AR goggles.

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