Ebony Responds to #EbonyOwes Accusations of Not Paying Writers

Ebony magazine is in the news this week for apparently not paying its writers.

As highlighted in an article for The Root, dozens of writers have come forward using the hashtag #EbonyOwes to share their experiences of not being paid for their work — some have been waiting for payment since 2015.

Check out a few of the tweets:

Why isn’t Ebony paying its people? Maybe they’re having management difficulties.

Ebony magazine, ebony.com and jetmag.com were purchased by private-equity firm Clear View Group LLC last year in June 2016. According to Ebony, The firm was founded by Michael Gibson and Willard Jackson in 2015 to specialize in private-equity acquisitions.

Writer Jagger Blaec reached out to Clear View’s Willard Jackson to get to the bottom of why freelancers haven’t received their payment.

In a text message exchange, Jackson replied, “Love to chat. I hear you are one of those reporters that like to tear down black businesses.” When asked if there were any plans to recoup the missing funds for all of the freelancers affected by these delayed payments, Jackson claimed to have no knowledge of unpaid compensation.

“Missing funds? Exploited? Of course they are all getting paid. We bought the business to turn around all this stuff,” he messaged.

Ebony eventually issued this statement:

Ebony magazine values the work of our freelancers and writers. We understand their concerns and we know that their unique talent and dedication to telling our stories have been an integral part of our success. As a part of our strategic growth plan, EBONY Media is working diligently to streamline and improve efficiencies throughout our operations and we will honor our commitment to our partners.

A Black magazine not paying primarily Black writers is NOT a good look…at all.

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