Comcast has fired an employee after a Philadelphia advocacy group “outed” him as being a member of the alt-right group The Proud Boys, Philadelphia Magazine is reporting.
Andrew Kovalic was, until this week, an employee of the New York City-based cable giant – that is, until Philadelphia-based nonprofit Media Mobilizing Project, which seeks to hold accountable media broadcasters, news organizations, and the like, outed him as a member of the right-wing hate group.
How Did Andrew Kovalic Get Drawn Into This?
Kovalic was brought to the attention of the group thanks to Twitter user @AntiFashGordon.
The Proud Boys (more on them in a few paragraphs) are planning an event in Philadelphia this Saturday, the so-called “We The People” Rally in which the Proud Boys and other alt-right groups are expected to descend upon the city to “show Philly what patriotism really is.”
The Twitter user noticed that Kovalic was planning to attend, and even turned up a photo of him wearing his Comcast uniform and making the “OK” sign – a symbol used by the group. @AntiFashGordon brought the picture to the attention of the project, which in turn started an internet petition to have him fired.
“Employing Andrew Kovalic, a member of the hate group the Proud Boys, is an embarrassment and an insult to the communities of Philadelphia and the country. […] Comcast should terminate his employment immediately.”
THREAD: The Proud Boys and other alt-light groups are rallying in Philadelphia on 11/17.— AntiFash Gordon (@AntiFashGordon) November 12, 2018
This is Andrew Kovalic, Harrisburg PA Proud Boys Rally Captain. He's doing Security that day.
He works for @comcast. Here he is making a white power gesture in his Comcast uniform. pic.twitter.com/TC84L290YD
Comcast responded to the petition and this week did indeed fire Kovalic, saying that “there’s no place for disrespectful, offensive behavior in our culture.”
Who Are The Proud Boys?
The Proud Boys are an alt-right group whose purpose largely depends on whom you ask. The group considers itself simply a group of America-loving men who aren’t ashamed of maleness, or of Western culture, and aren’t afraid to fight to honor and preserve those ideals.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, on the other hand, considers them a white nationalist, anti-Muslim, misogynist hate group.
What’s With This Business Of Alt-Right Members Being ‘Outed’ And Losing Their Jobs?
Kovalic is not the first member of an alt-right group to be “outed” by internet users, and then to suffer consequences in their personal lives as a result. In fact, as The Independent reported in 2017, it’s been a thing since the time of the deadly “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville in August of that year, if not before, for internet users to scour photos of attendees of alt-right rallies, use crowdsourcing to identify them, and then put pressure on their employers (or, in the case of college students, their schools) to disavow them.
One such man was Jared Kuhn, who attended the deadly Charlottesville rally, got “outed,” and since found himself unwelcome in his former hometown. “My life is over,” he claimed.
As for Kovalic, as of this writing, he hasn’t responded to requests for comment.