Amazon.com Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos was interrupted by an animal-rights activist who rushed onto the stage where he was being interviewed during a conference in Las Vegas.
A woman raising concerns about conditions inside an Amazon chicken supplier ran on just as Bezos was being interviewed by Jenny Freshwater, who runs forecasting and capacity planning at Amazon. Bezos and other executives are attending re:MARS, an Amazon conference focused on advances in artificial intelligence and robotics.
The woman, identified in a statement from animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere as Priya Sawhney, was quickly taken backstage by security personnel. “I have been inside of Amazon’s chicken farms, where animals are criminally abused,” she said. “Jeff, please, you’re the richest man on the planet. You can help the animals.”
Direct Action Everywhere has long claimed that some chicken farms that supply Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market treat the animals poorly.
Sawhney was held on suspicion of misdemeanor trespassing and may face more serious charges, Las Vegas police Officer Laura Meltzer said.
Bezos, after the commotion died down, turned to his interviewer and asked, “Do you have a response to that?”
Amazon spends about $1.6 million a year on personal security for Bezos.
The incident occurred a few days after California Senator Kamala Harris, who is running for U.S. president, was interrupted at a forum by a man who grabbed her microphone.
— Information from The Associated Press on the arrest was included in this report.