tatsha

People Magazine’s only black Senior Editor is blowing the lid off the alleged discriminatory practices at the publication, according to NY Daily News. Tatsha Robertson, who was laid off this May, claims People is biased against African-Americans and she was personally discriminated against by her boss, former executive editor Betsy Gleick.

Robertson, who previously served as the News Editor and Interim Managing Editor at Essence, said Gleick left her out of meetings and once told her: “You need to talk like everyone else here. You’re not at Essence anymore.” When Robertson pitched a story about an African-American model who was killed, Gleick said the woman looked like a “slut” and dismissed the article idea.

When People did cover a slain black victim, Trayvon Martin, the lawsuit says: “Ms. Gleick was completely obsessed with attempting to unearth any potential negative fact about him before doing so. Ms. Gleick repeatedly questioned whether he was a ‘good kid,’ yet never made efforts to vet white victims of crime.” Sounds familiar.

Alongside Robertson’s compelling personal accounts, statistics seem to support her claim that People Magazine is biased against black people. The lawsuit reads:

“A “black individual was the main feature” on the cover “exactly twice” in 2013, when the magazine put out 60 issues. […] In total since 2010, only 14 out of 265 covers have been focused on African-American individuals. Since 1990, “only three individuals selected as the ‘Most Beautiful Person’ have been black, out of 25 selections.”

Expect even less representation of black people now that Robertson is gone, the lawsuit says. She’s seeking unspecified damages from People, Time Inc. and Gleick.

The sweeping media bias against black and brown people isn’t lost on us: Robertson merely confirmed what we’ve always suspected goes on behind-the-scenes. It’s time the biased media pays gravely for their discriminatory practices against African-Americans on their staffs and in their articles.

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  • Southpaw

    3 out of 25 is 12%

  • This comes as no surprise. That’s why I cancelled many of my subscriptions like star, cosmopolitan, and so on. Mainly due to the lack of diversity on their covers and articles. Now I stick with ebony or essence magazines.

    • Sassymama

      Same here. All the magazines I buy are ones that predominately feature black people.

  • The only issue I brought from People mag was Lupita’s front cover.

    I’m tired of looking for white affirmation. We to create and SUPPORT our businesses.

  • CAsweetface

    I want to be surprised but I don’t have the ability to be fake. We can’t continuously talk about making our own this or that and then not support it when it comes out. For instance, I’m addicted to online shows on Black and Sexy TV but you can tell by their pleas for funds to keep the series going, black people aren’t donating to keep the all black platforms going. This is just one example of us not putting our money where our mouths are. We need to support and not tear down when our own does finally ditch mainstream white media. I for one am done with trying to work in areas where we have no representation.