San Francisco – Google Thursday canceled a Town Hall intended to air viewpoints on diversity, sexism and free speech, citing worker safety concerns.

“We’ll find a better way to help our employees connect and discuss these important issues further,” a Google spokesperson said in response to an AFP inquiry.

The employee gathering was scheduled to air viewpoints swirling in after the dismissal of a Google engineer over a memo defending the Silicon Valley gender gap.

The “manifesto” published as an internal memo by James Damore claimed “biological differences” were a key factor in the low percentage of women in technology jobs and sparked outcry from those claiming it perpetuated stereotypes and discrimination.

Then Damore was fired — according to media reports and his own email to the far-right news website Breitbart — which ignited backlash from those claiming Google was stifling free speech and politically conservative viewpoints.

© AFP LEON NEAL Earlier this week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said employees have a right to express themselves but that the memo appeared to "cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace."

© AFP LEON NEAL – Earlier this week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said employees have a right to express themselves but that the memo appeared to “cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”