BuzzFeed, which prides itself on being one of the most hip, cool, “open-minded” and non-discriminatory media outlets out there, has laid a ton of people off. The outlet reportedly laid off 15% its staff. It had about 1,450 employees, which means over 200 people got the boot.
BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti confirmed the sharp cut on Wednesday after reporters from other news outlets began inquiring.
The layoffs, he said in an internal memo, are part of a broader effort to “put us on a firm foundation and allow us to invest and grow sustainably for years to come.”
But you know what’s super awkward? BuzzFeed is being accused of laying off mostly women, POC and LGBTQ employees.
However, those following this news closely are accusing Buzzfeed of laying off mostly POC and LGBTQ employees. Among these minority ethnic and LGBTQ former staff are some well-known figures within Asian American communities like Kane Diep, Niki Ang, Kevin Nguyen, Shila Farahani, Jared Sosa and Ray Pajar, just to name a few. These writers and producers have frequently created content on race, culture, mental health, and issues facing the LGBTQ communities.
Other former Buzzfeed employees include Norberto Briceño, co-founder of Pero Like; Branson LB, LGBT video producer; Selorm Kploanyi, video producer; and Lixia Gao, art director.
Even those who have been spared from these lay offs have noticed the pattern of valued POC and LGBTQ creators who no longer have a job, and went on to criticize the decisions made by the media company.
interesting how the majority of people @BuzzFeed laid off are poc or queer and make content related to the topics of identity, representation, and mental health….. really interesting pic.twitter.com/Hh3YzzRnYN
— linskey (@ryanlinskey) January 27, 2019
So, is it just me or does it really feel like BuzzFeed made a reputation on the backs of very talented queer and POC creators/editors/etc and then got rid of them all once that reputation was cemented enough to get away with it?
— Nadika (@Nadika_Public) January 29, 2019
who did buzzfeed keep???? they seem to have fired a lot of people i enjoyed watching content from (LOTS of poc/LGBT people especially) and i’m suspicious
— katherine 🥀 (@finallyworn) January 29, 2019
So many of the women + LGBT folks + POC being let go from BuzzFeed laid their lives, and trauma, and hearts, and humanity bare for this company and are now gone and I just aoidfjgadkfgj
— Lauren Strapagiel 🦇 (@laurenstrapa) January 28, 2019
I’ll say it.
I highly doubt that BuzzFeed went out of its way to specifically fire women, POC and LGBT employees. Maybe their departments weren’t doing so hot. Or maybe– just maybe– BuzzFeed didn’t take race or sexual orientation into consideration when it decided who it needed to let go. Would that really be a bad thing?
NO. All the normal people say NO.
Do I feel bad for higher ups in BuzzFeed? Nah. They brought this upon themselves. This is the culture they built. Deal with it.
h/t Next Shark