Questlove, who co-founded Okayplayer in 1987 before it became an indie music news site, addressed the resignation of Okayplayer and sister site OkayAfrica‘s CEO and publisher Abiola Oke today (June 24) amid toxic workplace allegations from Black female employees.
Over the past few days, several former and current Okayplayer and OkayAfrica employees came forward on social media with their horrible experiences in both newsrooms. Seven Black women synthesized these anecdotes in a letter tweeted out yesterday (June 23) that called for Oke’s removal due to the “lack of support and resources, below market salaries, inadequate leadership, targeting and sabotage, slander, verbal abuse, inappropriate behavior, gaslighting, lack of empathy, manipulation, rationalizing poor or unethical conduct and wrongful termination” and, most recently publicized, sexual harassment they endured.
— Ivie Ani (@ivieani) June 24, 2020
“More announcements coming up. This was long overdue,” The Roots‘ musician wrote on Instagram while sharing Okayplayer and OkayAfrica’s joint statement that addressed the severity of the allegations while listing the first steps taken.
The companies’ statement read they severed all ties with Oke and accepted his resignation, effective immediately. “We take the allegations that have surfaced very seriously, and we stand with the brave woman who came forward,” the statement continued. “We have begun the process of engaging an outside advisor to review and investigate our current and past policies and practices. We’re committed to creating a work environment that’s inclusive and respectful for all.”
Okayplayer and OkayAfrica join the growing list of media companies undergoing a rude awakening for the mistreatment of their employees, specifically Black female workers.
Read Questlove’s response below.