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Universal fires woke employee after refusing to work while 'mourning' Roe v. Wade

'It's been hard to process how companies expect us to be productive while our rights are being stripped away,' wrote Michael Lopez

Michael Lopez worked as a Production Coordinator at Universal Music Group
Michael López trabajó como Coordinador de Producción en Universal Music Group | LinkedIn

July 4, 2022 6:52pm

Updated: July 5, 2022 3:50pm

An employee of Universal Music Group says he has been fired for "speaking up" about abortion rights after explaining how he refused to work because he was in "mourning" over the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the New York Post reported.

Michael Lopez, a production coordinator at Universal Music Enterprises, lambasted the company as "anti-gay" for firing a "queer brown person," apparently referring to himself, for "speaking up in defense of abortion rights," according to a message posted last week by Lopez on LinkedIn account.

"Last Friday, like countless other folks, I was devastated by the news of the Supreme Court's attack on abortion rights,” Lopez wrote. "Paired with the flood of anti-queer and anti-trans legislation, it's been hard to process how [companies] expect us to be productive while our rights are being stripped away."

Last month, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to an abortion. The ruling leaves it to the individual states to determine the legality of abortion.

Lopez explained that each Friday "one of my tasks was to process reports for upcoming releases" and to email his work to 275 people.

After the Supreme Court struck down Roe, however, he didn't do his work and explained why in an email to coworkers.

"I didn't do them today," the email reads. "I'm in mourning due to the attack on people with uteruses in the U.S. Federally guaranteed access to abortion is gone."

Lopez went on to warn that Universal Music Group "must stop donating to anti-abortion, anti-queer, and anti-trans politicians … or expect more unproductive days."

The following week, Lopez said, he was contacted by HR and let go for "not doing your job, disrupting the day of 275 people and poor judgement."

He then informed his colleagues of his termination in an email that read in part: "A brown queer person terminated during Pride month speaking in support of abortion rights. Seems like that's exactly what America is all about right now."

A UMG spokesperson told the New York Post that the company has a "long record of support for women's issues" and "views reproductive health care as essential."

Regarding the firing of Lopez, the spokesperson said, "As a matter of policy, we can't discuss an individual's personnel record. We can say that what was posted on social media is inaccurate."