*Essence magazine has made the bombshell announcement that it was furloughing a number of staffers and only paying their salaries through the end of this week.
The publication said in a statement that it notified the impacted staffers on Tuesday and “will pay everyone impacted throughout this week and will cover their medical benefits premiums throughout the furlough.”
It is unclear how many staffers are affected. The furloughs are expected to last less than six months.
“After a thorough analysis of our business and its financial position and carefully exploring all options for continued viability, we have made the very difficult decision to implement temporary measures to account for the ongoing significant negative impact of the pandemic, including furloughs,” the company said. “While the business was able to prevent taking such measures during the initial onset of the pandemic via significant personal investments from ownership along with limited PPP funds, the prolonged situation and unforeseeable business now require us to take additional action to ensure the long-term sustainability of (Essence Communications, Inc.).”
The company announced the devastating impact of the coronavirus crisis in a statement on Wednesday.
“We will remain in touch with all of those impacted to provide relevant and pertinent updates regarding this matter as we have them,” the historic publication stated. “We do not anticipate that any furloughs will exceed six months.”
“We are confident that the actions we are taking now will help ensure that ESSENCE is here to thrive for another 50+ years as an independent Black-owned media business.”
News of the furloughs comes three months after Richelieu Dennis, the owner of ESSENCE, was cleared of workplace misconduct.
“Following anonymous accusations leveled in a June 28th blog post against ESSENCE and its owner and chair Richelieu Dennis, our company launched a comprehensive and independent review by the law firms Proskauer Rose and Morgan Lewis that included investigating claims of sexual harassment and other issues that may adversely impact workplace culture. This included outreach to the anonymous accusers and interviews with current and former employees,” the publication said in a statement in August.
“Today, we are providing an update on the review process and sharing the findings released by Proskauer Rose, led by partner Keisha-Ann Gray, concerning sexual harassment. The investigation concluded that that these claims are not substantiated,” the statement continued.
The magazine noted “ESSENCE takes these matters seriously and maintains a policy against sexual harassment, actively enforces such policy, and remains committed to ensuring a workplace free of sexual harassment.”
*Cardi B has clapped back at racists saying Hermés Birkin bags “lost their value” because Black female rappers wear them.
Cardi’s response is to a social media post about how rappers make the pricy handbags less “exclusive.” Hermés Birkin bags typically range anywhere from $12,000 to $200,000.
“I’ve been seeing this tweet right. It had me and it had other female rappers on it. They were talking about if we could get Birkins from the Hermés store and they [were] also saying how we depreciate the value of a Hermés Birkin bag. I find that really interesting because, first thing first, I definitely could get a bag. Actually, I got four bags today from the Hermés store,” the 28-year-old hip-hop star said in a video shared on Instagram.
Check out Cardi’s profane and is NSFW video below.
The “WAP” rapper recently shared a glimpse of her Hermès handbag collection — 23 Birkin bags and counting… with rare and one-of-a-kind designs, like camouflage, glitter and a paisley-print pattern, per PEOPLE. Check out her post below.
In the comments, Cardi B’s estranged husband Offset wrote, “I’m Responsible for 15 of them.”
Cardi explained in her IG post on Oct. 25 that folks should stop questioning how and why Black women can “get a bag from the Hermés store” because “y’all don’t do this to these white celebrities,” she said.
“So why is it that y’all gotta be asking us? What the f—? It just makes you want to brag like, ‘Bitch do you know who the f— you’re talking to?’ But no, I’m not even going to take it there,” Cardi B added.
“Another thing is that they’re saying we’re depreciating the value,” she contonued. “Actually, we add value because when we mention brands in hip-hop, s— go up.”
She then referenced her hit single “Bodak Yellow,” which mentions designer Christian Louboutin and the song “I Like It Like That” which mentions Balenciaga.
“When ‘Bodak Yellow’ came out you could actually Google that their sales went up 1000+%,” said Cardi. And when it comes to the Balenciaga sales spike, Cardi added…”That s— went up too and that’s why they worked with me this year. Like hip-hop, we start trends,” she explaiined. “When y’all say that we devalue s—, no we actually add value.”
“Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX? That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!,” Trump tweeted.
In the Root commercial, Bubba walks through a crowd of reporters who ask him for the apology and he staunchly refuses.
Scroll up and watch the ad via the YouTube player above.
According to a press release, Root partnered with Wallace (who recently signed with the newly formed Michael Jordan racing team) and Tool of North America with director Wesley Walker as creative lead, to tell his story and share his conviction for unapologetic societal change.
“Root Insurance is doing what is right and making insurance more fair, and I will be proud to drive a car with their colors next season,” said Wallace. “I stand firmly with the goal of eliminating bias from insurance, and I truly believe we can work together to help make the world a better place.”
“Getting to know Bubba Wallace and what he stands for made this partnership one that we couldn’t pass up,” said Alex Timm, Root Co-Founder and CEO. “He is dedicated to standing up for what is right, even when it involves facing adversity. Root was created to make car insurance more fair, standing up against the established industry that priced more on demographics than driving behavior. We are proud to support Bubba Wallace.”
*LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment has partnered with CNN Films for a new documentary about Black Wall Street and the 1921 massacre in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Salima Koroma will direct the project, titled “Dreamland: The Rise and Fall of Black Wall Street,” which is now in production, Variety reports.
In a statement, SpringHill’s chief content officer Jamal Henderson noted that this documentary highlights the company’s goal of producing stories showing “the fabric” of American history.
“We cannot move forward until we acknowledge our past and this is about honoring a prosperous, booming Black community, one of many, that was brought to an end because of hate,” Henderson said.
“Dreamland” will feature archival footage, new interviews, narrated elements and personal essays.
The announcement coincides with news that James’ SpringHill Company has inked a multi-project deal with Audible, focused on producing culturally influential audio content.
According to the press release, the multi-project slate kicks off with More Than A Vote: Our Voices. Our Vote. The first-of-its-kind special, produced in collaboration with Cadence 13, will launch in support of the More Than A Vote initiative, a new voting rights organization led by a coalition of Black athletes and artists including James aimed at combating voter suppression and misinformation that disproportionately disenfranchises communities of color.
More Than A Vote is available for pre-order today at Audible.com/morethanavote, and will premiere on October 27th for free within the Audible Premium Plus catalog.
“Influential creators like LeBron, Maverick and the SpringHill team keep us motivated to continue creating storytelling experiences that spark critical conversations and cultivate change,” said Rachel Ghiazza, Executive Vice President, Head of US Content at Audible. “Joining forces with this fearless group, we strive to empower our millions of listeners and provide resources to elevate their voices, and what better way to start than with an inspiring Words + Music special to reinforce the mission of LeBron’s More Than A Vote initiative.”
The exclusive audio special will also incorporate facts about the electoral process and education around the very real threat that voter suppression poses to American democracy – specifically in African-American communities.