Actress and comedian Chelsea Peretti at the TechCrunch 10th Annual Crunchies Awards on February 6, 2017, in San Francisco.
Last night’s Crunchies Awards was tech’s annual big night out.
It’s a chance for the industry to honor Silicon Valley’s finest and poke fun at itself. This year, though, the Crunchies got political.
Actress Chelsea Peretti hosted the evening, and in her opening act she called Uber CEO Travis Kalanick a villain, adding that he has “a good head of hair, bad head of brains.” Kalanick has faced pressure from employees, drivers and customers for working with the new administration in light of the executive order on immigration. He stepped down last week from President Donald Trump‘s economic advisory council.
Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson won the award for Founder of the Year and used his acceptance speech to encourage other entrepreneurs to take responsibility. “We do a lot of hard stuff. We tackle hard problems. We plow through walls. That’s what we do for a living,” he said. “And the current political climate requires us to do this and tackle some new problems like we never have before.”
In accepting the Include award, gender equality advocate and angel investor Ellen Pao said Trump won “because we didn’t have the inclusive policies at the tech companies that are today’s sources of news.”
A few years ago, a group of protesters showed up outside the Crunchies to speak out about greed and income inequality. Last year, taxi drivers demonstrated against Uber. This year, the movement came from within — from some of the highest profile names in Silicon Valley — as tensions rise between tech and President Trump.