THE PUBLISHING UPRISING
A just revolution is tearing down discriminatory structures at Condé Nast and beyond.
Zara Rahim's first tweet, as a response to Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch's statement after the Bon Appetit story broke. His measly damage control will not cut it with employees.
Condé Nast and other publishing giants can no longer hide their racism behind virtue signaling covers. Adam Rapoport, former editor-in-chief of Bon Appetit (owned by Condé Nast) stepped down on June 8th over allegations of racism and pay disparity within the company, and for a resurfaced brown face Halloween costume.
Sohla El-Waylly, assistant editor for Bon Appetit, alleged that they paid white editors for their video appearances (no matter how experienced they were), while any POC editors were never compensated for their video appearances and were instead used as a free tokenism ploy for audiences. Bon Appetit’s YouTube channel has amassed 6 million followers, and most of their engagement comes through their videos.
Condé Nast is reckoning with a homogenous “brand” identity throughout their titles. CEO Roger Lynch has circumvented the glaring racial disparity in both pay and representation by deploying the classic excuse of “I would have done something about it if you had told me sooner.”
Zara Rahim, former communications director at American Vogue wrote on Twitter on June 9th that when she was employed by Vogue she was paid almost 50K less than the white woman who had held the position prior. After she left her position at Vogue she found out that her (white) replacement was being paid 60K more than she had been. Rahim says that she hasn’t “even scratched the surface of how deeply fucked that place is” and that “the trauma I carry from Condé is something I have a hard time talking about.”
Refinery 29 founder and editor-in-chief Christene Barberich, resigned on June 8th after reading negative reviews of the publication and their treatment of black employees. Philadelphia Inquirer top editor, San Wischnewski resigned after writing an op-ed titled “Buildings Matter, Too.”
The sudden departures, the transferring of responsibility to someone else is not the way to deal with such deeply rooted problems. No, Rapoport should not guard his throne, but he should stay in some capacity to organize the restructuring of Bon Appetit instead of taking the easy way out and leaving everyone to fend for themselves, without taking any personal accountability.
Any ushering in of new "rule" during these periods risks being rushed, and as a result ingenuine. The act quickly and calm the masses before they revolt doesn't carry well in times like these. Yes, these publications need to be rebuilt, starting at the top, but it needs to be calculated for it to stand the test of time and truly represent the equality it claims to want. Remedying an abuse of power with a chaotic environment never yields progress.
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