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Ebony Magazine

#EbonyOwes Freelancers Send A Message To The Magazine: "See You In Court!"

Freelance ain't free.

#EbonyOwes was a call to action, catching the attention of media patrons and observers alike following the magazine’s cover featuring Chance The Rapper. The impressions surrounding the hashtag forced the media outlet to release a self-imposed deadline to pay their freelancers by June 30. Clearly, the deadline has gone and passed without any paychecks, so the National Writers Union (NWU) announced Wednesday (July 12), that they’ll be taking EBONY Media Organization (EMO) and its parent company Clear View Group (CVG) to court.

Currently, there are 50 freelance writers who have yet to be paid a collective amount of $200,000. EBONY did make an effort by issuing $18,000 worth of checks to eleven writers, only three of which were paid in full. The union is currently representing 30 of the 50 writers who are owed approximately $60,000.

NWU President addressed the issue in a press release stating, “This is completely unacceptable. We took them at their word, in good faith, despite some freelancers going more than a year without payment. Now, we move on to the next step.”

One writer, Kimberly Hayes Taylor admits that she resents the “excellent job” she did for them after the media outlet created a great hardship for its constituents.

Taylor’s father was diagnosed with serious health concerns and the expected payments from EBONY were supposed to finance her dad’s trip to visit family before he started his treatments.

“This whole situation is already heartbreaking enough. The stress of not getting paid and having no idea when that will happen makes it even worse,” Taylor expressed.

Fellow contributor, Marissa Charles attests that she was relying on a “substantial amount of money” from the print magazine in order to pay her bills. While she’s thankful she was finally paid, she’s frustrated it took so long because “their delay set [her] back financially.”

NWU explicitly notes that EBONY is not the only enemy in this case, yet, their main goal is to shed light on a prevalent epidemic that has plagued freelance writers for quite some time.

“Non-payment is an epidemic for freelance writers. That is why we joined the campaign to establish the Freelance Isn’t Free law in NYC last year. Many publishers feel they can trust individual freelancers any way they want. What’s different here is that EBONY freelancers are standing together, as a Union, and they are drawing a lot of attention in the industry. We’re hearing from writers at other publications as well.”

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GOT SOMETHING U MIGHT WANNA SEE IT. . !!!MEET ME HERE NETFLIX AND NO. CHILL 11200 Northwest Freeway, Suite 300 Houston, TX 77092

A post shared by flame (@travisscott) on Aug 22, 2019 at 3:35pm PDT

The rapper popped up at a used video store in Houston's Central Northwest neighborhood with radio station KBXX 97.9 The Box to autograph his version of the throwback VHS tapes.

THE LEGEND. @trvisXX 🚀🚀 #LookMomICanFly pic.twitter.com/m94OKk8yzx

— KBXX 97.9 The Box (@979TheBox) August 23, 2019

Back cover of @trvisXX’s Netflix documentary. Looks like we’re getting tour footage, founding of the label and some FATHERHOOD footage as well! #LookMomICanFly #LMICF pic.twitter.com/GCMIN9hmY6

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A Musical Inspired By 'Soul Train' Could Be Headed To Broadway

A musical inspired by the 1970s classic black television program, Soul Train, is on the radar for a Broadway debut. Host and creator, Don Cornelius, debuted the highlights of black music and culture.  The syndicated program ran from 1971- 2006, featuring guests like Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, and more.

The New York Times reports that a creative team of three of the most influential black women in the modern-day theater world will be the core of production. Kamilah Forbes, executive producer for the Apollo Theater, will sit as director, Camille A. Brown (Choir Boy) will choreograph, and Dominique Morisseau (Ain't Too Proud) sits as the writer for the script.

Questlove posted on his Twitter with the news.

Soul Train’s A Comin.... https://t.co/TMiYoxib0A

— A New Love: Questlove (@questlove) August 19, 2019

He will sit alongside Tony Cornelius, Don Cornelius' son, as executive producer.

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Watch the full interview below.

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