Essence journal is being rocked with scandal because it celebrates its 50th 12 months anniversary. A disparaging article titled “The Reality About Essence” was printed on medium.com on Sunday with the byline, Black Feminine Nameless.
“We current ourselves beneath the situation of anonymity for concern of retaliation, intimidation and the maligning of our media careers,” they wrote. “We demand the quick resignation of Chief Government Officer Richelieu Dennis, Essence Ventures board member and former Essence Communications CEO Michelle Ebanks, Chief Working Officer Pleasure Collins Profet, and Chief Content material Officer Moana Luu,” the essay continues.
The scathing article paints an image of an allegedly poisonous work atmosphere black girls face working at a magazine geared in the direction of them. They declare CEO Dennis’ “surface-level dedication to Black girls is pushed by greed and a debaucherous sexual urge for food.” They allege that “he has a historical past of sleeping with girls on the Sundial workers, (the mum or dad firm of Shea Moisture he offered to Unilever in 2017) and for the ladies who don’t seemingly consent, he brazenly sexually harasses them at personal firm occasions,” however didn’t present any examples of alleged harassment.
The nameless poster additionally claims Ebanks, who resigned as CEO in 2019, “pointed to the door and advised workers they might go away,” when an worker requested about pay raises at an organization city corridor.
Essence denied the claims in a two-page assertion on Monday morning: “Candidly, the final 24 hours have been heartbreaking … Anonymity doesn’t negate accountability. Details will at all times matter, and we’re not afraid of the reality. The allegations and mischaracterizations all through — whether or not of pay inequity, intimidation, and in any other case — are unfounded makes an attempt to discredit our model and assassinate private character. Additional, accusations of sexual harassment or misconduct are extraordinarily critical issues, and we absolutely perceive the gravity of the implications,” it learn.
The bombshell submit was an undesirable distraction from its annual tradition competition that kicked off final week. Sources advised Web page Six Essence known as for an emergency zoom assembly on Sunday afternoon. “The editor was involved about this occurring into Essence Pageant and was fearful about it upsetting Pageant sponsors. She by no means addressed the accusations or provided folks to succeed in out with considerations. It made it even worse,” a supply stated.
The nameless posters additionally launched a takebackessence instagram account and tagged the corporate’s competition sponsors together with Coca Cola, McDonalds, Ford, Walmart, Warner Media and Proctergamble. “Should you worth the lives of Black girls, you’ll instantly pull your sponsorship dollars from Essence,” they captioned.
Sources aware of Essence advised Web page Six it’s probably that it’s present and former staff, who could also be behind the posts. They’re giving Essence execs 5 enterprise days to reply or, “On day six we launch private testimonials of pay inequity, office bullying, lay-offs whereas on maternity go away and instantly after giving start and sexual harassment. Step down now,” they warn.
Moreover, they’ve launched a change.org petition to get signatures for his or her resignation.
“The present feminine workers at Essence are usually not emotionally protected nor are they pretty arrange for skilled and financial development on the firm,” they allege.