Former Editor Sues People Magazine, Claims Racism
An ex editor at People magazine claims the publication is a “discriminatory organization run entirely by White people who intentionally focus the magazine on stories involving White people and White celebrities.” Tatsha Robertson — formerly the magazine’s sole Black editor — is now suing for discrimination.
Robertson, who was laid off in May, joined People in 2010 from Essence magazine. She claims to have been subjected to racism from her boss, Betsy Gleick, a now former editor. According to the suit, Gleick told Robertson to “talk like everyone else” adding that she wasn’t “at Essence anymore,” and intentionally left her out of meetings.
The stories Robertson pitched didn’t get much attention from Gleick. “You know the rule — white suburban women in distress, ” Gleick allegedly said along with rejecting a pitch from Robertson about a black model who had been killed. She said that the the victim looked like a “slut,” according to Robertson.
Her lawsuit further states that Gleick became “obsessed with attempting to unearth any potential negative fact about” Trayvon Martin before putting the slain Florida teen on the cover. “Ms. Gleick repeatedly questioned whether he was a ‘good kid,’ yet never made efforts to vet White victims of crime.”
Last year only two of 60 covers featured Black people, totaling only 14 out of 265 covers since 2010, the suit says. Additionally, only three of Black celebrities (Halle Berry, Beyoncé and Lupita Nyong’o) have been chosen as the “Most Beautiful Person.”
People magazine had “no comment” on the litigation.
Photo: People magazine