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.