Last Updated on October 9, 2019
Ebony Magazine, a leading woke publication for “African-American cultural insight, news and entertainment” has been embattled in an epic lawsuit with up to 40 freelance writers at a time who claim that owners of the magazine refuse to pay for their work.
“So Ebony had a fancy gala last night They still have one more payment of nearly 30k owed to about 15 writers and were nearly a month late on Q3 payment. The audacity to have a gala while you have a court-ordered judgment FOR NOT PAYING YOUR BLACK WRITERS IS ANTI-BLACK AF,” said George M. Johnson, an activist and columnist who was a contributor to Ebony Magazine.
Yes, we need to address mass incarceration, recidivism, profiling, and the many other issues that result in Black people going to jail. But CAN Y'ALL FOCUS ON PAYING PEOPLE JUST FOR ONCE?! #EbonyOwes #EbonyStillOweshttps://t.co/QLpgUjFTRZ
— Glenn Jeffers (@gjjeffers) October 9, 2019
Twitter has years-long, first-hand accounts from numerous writers, photographers, and readers who are dismayed over the poor treatment of the people who produced the original and creative content for the magazine.
Ebony magazine owes its freelancers dating back 4 years
We had to sue to get our money AND THEY WERE STILL LATE
One of the freelancers in the lawsuit was raising money for cancer treatment and passed away 3 weeks before getting his check
So I will never support them again
— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) November 27, 2018
“I knew the writer who passed away. That completely shocked me. I wrote for EBONY for nearly 4 years, & EVERY PAYMENT was late. I’m lucky that I walked away after getting my money, but to see what my fellow writers endure & what ebony.com has devolved into is tragic,” said Matthew Allen TV producer, director and music journalist, in 2018.
“From November 2013 to February 2017, EVERY. PAYMENT. WAS. LATE. The only reason I got my money at all is because – they told me I’d get paid 45 days after invoice submission. On day 46 on, I’d email them, “where’s my money.” The fact that I’m 1 of the lucky ones is frightening,” Allen said.
#EbonyOwes and #EbonyStillOwes did not provide a lesson for the owners.
According to Wikipedia, ” Ebony was founded by John H. Johnson in Chicago and has published continuously since the autumn of 1945. A digest-sized sister magazine, Jet, was founded by the Johnson Publishing Company in 1951. After 71 years, in June 2016, Johnson Publishing sold the publications to private equity firm Clear View Group. The new publisher is known as Ebony Media Corporation.”
Ebony has not changed it ways at all since the tragic death of one of their writers who was suffering from Cancer and was waiting for payment from Ebony Magazine, a second lawsuit has been filed.
According to Business Wire, “The Clear View Group is an African American led investment group that brings to bear over twenty-five years of experience creating, developing and running successful corporations.”
The Root, who published an excellent timeline, produced the following information:
“The complaint, which was filed on Wednesday, names Ebony Media Operations LLC; CVG Group LLC; Michael Gibson, CVG Group co-founder and chairman; and Elizabeth Burnett, vice president of operations of CVG Group, as defendants and accuses them of “betraying the magazine’s employees and readers” by “engaging in a consistent pattern and practice of laying off their staff and failing to pay them their final wages.”
Additionally, Ebony is accused of failing to reimburse employees for work-related expenses or pay out their unused vacation days.”
“This is literally so sad and as a young black woman who have always love Ebony magazine and dreamt of being on the cover and always supported them. I, however, cannot support them any longer after learning all of this information,” wrote @BreakdownElla, a frequent post, in response to the betrayal.