ESSENCE Magazine Staffers Decry Toxic Workplace, Demand Management Resignations

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[Essence Magazine\Workplace Einvironment]
The staffers also called on major brands like AT&T, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and others to withhold future sponsorships and advertising buys until Essence Ventures finds new leadership.
Photo: YouTube

Anonymous Essence Magazine workers are alleging that Essence management, and CEO Richelieu Dennis, have fostered a toxic workplace environment.

A group of anonymous staffers and former staffers of Essence Magazine on Sunday accused the publication and its leadership of “corporate bullying, intimidation, colorism, and classism” against the Black women who make up 80% of the magazine’s workforce.

In a Medium post, the authors calling themselves Black Female Anonymous demanded the resignation of Essence Ventures CEO Richelieu Dennis, board member Michelle Ebanks, Chief Creative Officer Moana Luu and COO Joy Collins Profet for creating a toxic workplace culture that they said betrays its legacy of elevating Black women.

The staffers also called on major brands like AT&T, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and others to withhold future sponsorships and advertising buys until Essence Ventures finds new leadership. The post has been shared on social media with some former employees confirming reports of a harmful work environment at the 50-year-old magazine. 

Reps for Essence, which Dennis bought from Time Inc. in 2018 for an undisclosed amount, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Dennis founded the beauty-product firm Sundial Brands, which he sold to Unilever in 2017.

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