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Cards Against Humanity co-founder Max Temkin steps down amid allegations of racism, sexism

The other co-founders of Temkin’s company launched an investigation in response to social media posts from former employees accusing Temkin of cultivating an office culture which was harmful to Black and female staffers.

Cards Against Humanity co-creator and political activist Max Temkin is using the streaming site Twitch to help raise money for congressional candidate Sean Casten. | File photo courtesy of Cards Against Humanity
Max Temkin
Cards Against Humanity file photo

Max Temkin, co-founder of the popular card game Cards Against Humanity, has left his Chicago-based company after former employees went public with allegations that he fostered a racist and sexist workplace.

In a statement written by six active co-founders, Cards Against Humanity announced that Temkin stepped down June 9, three days after they opened an internal investigation.

The investigation was launched in response to a series of social media posts from former employees accusing Temkin of cultivating an office culture which was harmful to Black and female staff members.

The Cards Against Humanity co-founders also said they would be hiring one firm to improve their human resources, hiring and management practices, and another to lead communication and bias training for partners and employees.

“As Cards Against Humanity rapidly grew from a hobby project in our parents’ basements to a company with 18 full-time employees, we made a lot of mistakes,” the company said. “We want to apologize to employees who were unheard or disrespected in our office. We are truly sorry. We also want to state unequivocally that we condemn harassment of anyone who has posted stories about their experiences at Cards Against Humanity.”

The statement also includes the co-founders’ responses to questions from a Polygon reporter, in which they acknowledge that they reduced Temkin’s managerial duties years earlier after staff members had complained about him.

Temkin did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Cards Against Humanity, founded in 2010 through a Kickstarter campaign, grew into a multimillion dollar business through its edgy, often politically incorrect card game that became a staple at parties.

The company moved out of its Logan Square storefront and bought its Bucktown office in 2014, where it still create its “party game for horrible people.” In February 2020, Cards Against Humanity opened the Chicago Board Game Cafe in the same neighborhood.