Sunday, September 19, 2021

Ebony Magazine Allegedly Kicks Online Staff to the Curb, Without Pay

Jurnee Smollett-Bell for Ebony Magazine
image via Twitter

*Ebony Magazine is making headlines once again over its unsavory business practices with freelance writers.

The Root has learned that the publication allegedly fired its online editorial staff without pay on June 7, according to two sources.

via The Root:

Former social media director Joshua David and an additional source who requested anonymity out of fear of not receiving their back pay, confirm that the digital editorial staff—comprised of three writers, one videographer and David—were terminated via a call from a human resources representative, subsequently identified as Elizabeth Burnett, vice president of operations of Clear View Group, the Austin-based investor group that owns Ebony and its sister publication Jet.

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David also provided The Root with a recorded phone call and an email to support his claims.

It was previously reported how Ebony was being pressed by the National Writers Union to pay more than $200,000 it alleged the magazine owed to freelance writers who contributed stories back in 2017, per Chicago Tribune. The drama sparked the hashtag #EbonyOwes on Twitter.

David tells The Root that he has had concerns about the company’s handling of freelancers since then. Things came to a head on May 30, “when while conducting an interview for a future story, he received the following email informing him of a “delay in payroll” the day before he was to receive his paycheck,” The Root writes.

“There was no confirmation as to when [we would be paid],” David said. “Only that they don’t have the capital to pay us.”

via The Root:

As a result, according to both sources, the digital editorial staff decided to institute a work stoppage until they were compensated for their contributions to the publication. Both sources then confirmed that on June 7, after being locked out of various company accounts, the entire online editorial staff was terminated by phone.

According to the report, neither source has received their overdue payments or any form of severance.

 

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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