A group going by Black Female Anonymous penned a scathing exposé about Essence magazine and demanded that four top execs step down — and now all four are out, sources told Page Six.
The group declared victory — but Essence denied their allegations and is insisting that the explosive post on Medium did not cause the staff changes, which were already in the works.
Richelieu Dennis resigned as interim CEO, Page Six reported on Wednesday. Now we’ve heard that COO Joy Collins Profet, board member Michelle Ebanks and chief content officer Moana Luu — who were mentioned in the piece that alleged a toxic workplace at Essence — have also followed suit.
Caroline Wanga was announced as interim CEO. But Essence said in a statement that Dennis “never held a CEO role … interim or otherwise,” after multiple outlets reported he’d stepped down as CEO. The magazine also claimed that Ebanks “has had no role in day-to-day operations since her departure” as CEO on March 31, and that “Profet notified the company of her departure two months ago … before the anonymous blog was posted.”
The company also said, “Luu will be recused from day-to-day operations” during an independent review. The execs have not individually commented beyond Essence’s statements.
A source told us: “This is a very serious situation and there’s more than [Dennis] … There are steps being taken.” Another source said, “People would not be stepping down, or out, unless there was a verifiable problem.”
The brand’s former global beauty director, Julee Wilson, who said she’s not part of Black Female Anonymous, implied she believes the women, but added of Wanga: “She’s amazing. I’m confident she’ll be able to help usher Essence into a new era of dopeness.”
The group also has support from fashion vets and activists such as Bethann Hardison and Michaela Angela Davis. Black Female Anonymous has hinted it could release more info.