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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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Drake's "In My Feelings" Received The Kidz Bop Treatment

After the release of Drake's chart-topping Scorpion album, his single "In My Feelings" skyrocketed to number one, so it's no surprise the City Girls assisted track received the Kidz Bop treatment.

Since 2000, the compilation LP has sold about 17 million copies and over the weekend, Kidz Bop released its 39th installment offering the world a G-rated and tween-friendly version of today's biggest hits.

Once Twitter learned Kidz Bop laid its prepubescent hands on Drake's song, there was a mixed bag of feelings. Some went along with it and commented positively, while others were frankly offended.

I just saw a Kidz Bop commercial with the Kidz Bop version of In My Feelings and I feel like a curse has been placed on me

— Jeremy (@TacticalRPG) January 10, 2019

That Kidz Bop version of In My Feelings lets me know that hell is a real place.

— Nappy Head Nietzsche (@AugustCulture) January 19, 2019

This #KidzBop version of "In My Feelings" is SENDING me! 😂 pic.twitter.com/EQzTwdbfb6

— Nicholas D. (@Creat1ve) January 18, 2019

This isn't the first time Drake's music has been Kidz Bopped. For Kidz Bop 31, "Hotline Bling" was also featured. The new 18-track album also features Cardi B's "I Like It" as well as Khalid and Normani's "Love Lies."

The lyrics to the hook received a slight change.

KiKi do you love me/are you with me/say you'll never ever leave from beside me/cause I want ya/and I need ya/and I'm down for ya always

And when it came time for the City Girls portion of the song, they turned that down as well.

all of us kids and we hangin' in the rain/hangin' in rain/I need a black card with the code to the safe/code to the safe.

Hey, kids need love too. Watch the Kidz Bop version of Drake's "In My Feelings" below.

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Anna Webber/Getty Images for Friends of Hudson River Park

Gladys Knight To Sing National Anthem At Super Bowl LIII

As reported by the National Football Leauge (NFL) and CBS, Gladys Knight will sing the National Anthem at the 53rd Super Bowl event. The Motown legend will usher in the final game of the season in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.

"I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta," Knight said. "The NFL recently announced their new social justice platform Inspire Change, and I am honored to be a part of its inaugural year."

In more recent years, Beyonce, Diana Ross, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Natalie Cole, and many more have performed the anthem on this stage.

Alongside Knight, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), will have a performer and deaf activist by the name of Aaron Loggins sign the National Anthem and "America The Beautiful."

Super Bowl LIII will take place Feb. 3 at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The playoffs are currently underway.

Atlanta, I’m coming home! #NFL #SBLIII pic.twitter.com/8rH0O5OAAo

— Gladys Knight (@MsGladysKnight) January 17, 2019

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Courtesy of Hulu

Stream: Hulu's 'FYRE Fraud' Doc Examines The Festival That Scammed Thousands

In 2017, rumors of an exclusive festival taking place in the Bahamas took over social media. Organized by Billy McFarland and promoted by Ja Rule, the FYRE Festival was the new, cool kid on the festival block and quickly put other more seasoned festivals to shame.

But all that glitters isn't gold.

FYRE FRAUD, the new documentary streaming on Hulu, takes an intimate look at the scam that left thousands stranded on the island. Directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason, the dark-comedy interviews whistleblowers, victims, and the convicted con-man himself, McFarland.

In a press release, Fraust and Nason said the goal isn't to make light of those who were scammed.

"Our aim was to set the stage for a strange journey into the moral abyss of our digital age, going beyond the meme to show an ecosystem of enablers, driven by profit and willing to look the other way, for their own gain.

"We draw on countless cultural references, on true crime tension, and on humor - but we did not intend to create a toothless comedy about the Fyre Festival. We hope this film can pierce our collective apathy and disrupt our own millennial peers, if only for an instant - to look at these stories for what they truly are, and to halt this algorithm before it devours us whole."

FYRE FRAUD is now streaming on Hulu.

 

 

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