HONOLULU (AP) – The founder of an app called “Hula” that provides information about sexually transmitted diseases says he plans to change its name after complaints that it’s culturally insensitive to Hawaiians.
Ramin Bastani told The Associated Press on Tuesday that after weeks of learning to understand the concerns of the Native Hawaiian community, he’s moving forward with changing the app’s name.
An online petition asking him to change the name argues that the name exploits a sacred cultural art form. Bastani previously resisted changing the name even after the petition gained attention in March. But he said he immediately removed any references to “getting lei’d” in marketing the app.
He says he’ll continue to educate others not to associate “getting lei’d” with his health tool.
Bastani says a new name hasn’t been determined.
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