Fired author of controversial Google memo breaks his silence

Town halls are nothing new at Google, but Thursday's is expected to be anything but ordinary following days of scrutiny over the controversial memo criticizing the tech giant's diversity initiatives written by a Google engineer

The author, James Damore, broke his silence Wednesday, revealing he actually wrote the document to fill time on a 12-hour work trip to China, reports CBS News' John Blackstone. 

The fired engineer defended the memo in a 45-minute interview with right-wing YouTube personality Stefan Molyneux. Damore says he wrote the memo after attending a Google diversity program. 

"It wasn't recorded at all, it was totally secretive and, you know, I heard things that I definitely disagreed with in some of our programs. I had some discussions with people there but it was just a lot of shaming and, 'No you can't say that, that's sexist,'" Damore said.
 
The 28-year-old was thrust into the spotlight after his 3,000-word document titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber" became public. In it, he questioned the company's diversity initiatives and argued that "differences in distributions of traits may in part explain why we don't have 50 percent representation of women in tech."
 
Google CEO Sundar Pichai called the comments "offensive" and "not ok".

"A lot of this came from me seeing some of the problems in our culture at Google where a lot of people that weren't in this group-think just felt totally isolated and alienated," Damore said.
 
A source within Google says the meeting Damore attended was recorded and that all diversity materials are made public. The source added that all employees are encouraged to express their views, but said the company doesn't support views that cross the line into sexism.

"No one high up ever came to me and said, 'No don't do this,'" Damore said.

In a later interview Damore said several employees were aware of the memo but that he didn't face push back until it received national attention. 

"It was only after it got viral that the upper management started shaming me," Damore said. 

In the interview, Damore praised Google, calling it a dream job, but he's now filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board.

The document, obtained by tech website Gizmodo, appears to claim that Damore was unfairly fired after addressing work-related issues.