Freelancers Take to Twitter to Say #EbonyOwes Them Back Pay
Stories have surfaced in the past few weeks that Ebony owes numerous writers back pay for work they did for the magazine. A story from The Establishment spurred the #EbonyOwes hashtag into trending territory on Twitter. The article cites numerous freelance writers who say that the magazine owes them.
According to a press release, the National Writers Union/UAW Local 1981 represents 23 Ebony writers who are collectively owed more than $50,000 in unpaid wages. The union estimates that more than $200,000 in back wages are owed to as many as 50 freelancers. The magazine recently made a public commitment to fix the problem, but NWU President Larry Goldbetter said that words aren’t good enough:
Some of the invoices we’ve seen are over a year old. We are pleased Ebony Media has been responsive to the grievance, but we are now at a point where we need a payment schedule in writing. For a freelancer to have to struggle to pay rent because Ebony owes is ridiculous.
Here are some of the stories told on #EbonyOwes:
Still waiting on my $2,000 from @EBONYMag months after my work. Per my contract w/@thekylesfiles it’s 150+ days PAST DUE #freelanceisntfree
— Cat (@emdashcat) April 19, 2017
“Why Isn’t ‘Ebony’ Paying Its Black Writers?” https://t.co/gOrd6WLrGN Heh I almost wrote about this a couple of years ago. I’m still owed.
— Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia) April 25, 2017
Make that 11 #EbonyOwes. It’s #NationalVolunteerWeek but I’m no @EBONYMag volunteer. Thx 4 your article @BasicBlaecGirl. Ready to advocate https://t.co/FApAySlD4c
— Zerline Hughes (@zerlinehughes) April 25, 2017
I don’t know about the race angle, but I know about Ebony failing to pay writers. The magazine owes me $1,200. https://t.co/87QVJWnSyW
— Eric Deggans at NPR (@Deggans) April 25, 2017
Last week I shared that @ebonymag hasn’t paid or contacted me & many others. This week they blocked me. I’m not even mad. I’m disappointed. pic.twitter.com/Z9u3vBNKQf
— Baratunde (@baratunde) May 31, 2017
Hey @EBONYMag I filed my story in November. It ran in February. You need to pay me. #ebonyowes
— Liz Dwyer (@losangelista) May 31, 2017
It’s #EbonyOwes story time courtesy of one of my very last experiences at @EBONYMag pic.twitter.com/jWecFD5zyP
— Pedro Vega Jr. (@pedrovegajr) June 1, 2017
Yep, for these pictures that I illustrated, I still haven’t been compensated. ⏰ #EbonyOwes https://t.co/VtrYE1KP3w
— NYANZA D (@nyanzad_) May 31, 2017
322 days for me and haven’t seen one dime from @EBONYMag while execs live live it up on the gram. Still disgusting. #EbonyOwes https://t.co/VnH2ZnrqeU
— AJ Springer (@JustAnt1914) June 12, 2017
Wed, 06/14/2017 – 11:49