RALEIGH – Red Hat has suspended all funding of the Free Software Foundation and all of the foundation’s events, citing exec’s return to board..

“Considering the circumstances of Richard Stallman’s original resignation in 2019, Red Hat was appalled to learn that he had rejoined the FSF board of directors,” the company said in a statement.

The company also noted that it would stand by the decisions of Red Hat contributors that have also indicated they would no longer support the organization.

In September 2019, Stallman resigned as the president and a board member of the Free Software Foundation, as well as his position at MIT.  The resignations came following sexual harassment allegations and after Stallman commented on the Jeffrey Epstein case with a series of statements via email, sent to the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) mailing list, which was published on Medium and shared with the news outlet Vice in September 2019.

A statement issued by Red Hat on September 18, 2019 reads:

“The free software movement draws strength from an environment that is collaborative, inclusive and respectful. Diverse groups of people from all walks of life and nationalities come together and use their strengths and life experiences to contribute, share ideas, challenge the status quo, and improve technology for all. Everyone, including those who have been underrepresented and marginalized in technology, should be able to freely participate to produce useful software including in open source communities.”

The statement issued by Red Hat this week reaffirms that stance, noting that the return of Stallman to the board of directors “has reopened wounds we had hoped would slowly heal after his departure. We believe that in order to regain the confidence of the broader free software community, the FSF should make fundamental and lasting changes to its governance.”

More than 2,800 individuals and nearly 50 organizations, including Mozilla, Creative Commons, the Open Source Collective, and Dot HQ, have signed an open letter and petition to remove Stallman from all leadership positions, and for the removal of all board members of the Free Software Foundation.  As of publishing, Red Hat has not signed this position.