BuzzFeed Accused Of Letting Go Mostly LGBT+ And POC Staff

Last week it was announced that BuzzFeed was making global job cuts, letting go of over 200 staff.

BuzzFeed offices where people are working in front of a big BuzzFeed sign.

After BuzzFeed announced that they would be letting go of 15% of their staff in order to help the company turn over a profit, former employees are pointing out that the majority of the staff who lost their positions are LGBT+ and people of colour.

Alice Workman, a BuzzFeedOz news reporter, said that she received a letter about redundancies on Tuesday morning explaining that the company was “reducing its overall news footprint”.

Following the lay-offs,  computer science student Alexandre Mouriec developed a website called Hire A Buzzfeeder which profiles everyone who lost their jobs at Buzzfeed. After the establishment of the site, people on Twitter have been accusing the company of letting go of mostly people of colour and LGBT+ people, with one Twitter user writing, “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.”

Another wrote, “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.”

One Twitter user pointed out how the LGBT+ and POC voices at Buzzfeed made the online news and entertainment site what it is today, writing, “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?”

Meanwhile, people are also pointing out how BuzzFeed are relying more and more on their Fellowship programme, interns and community writers.

Last year, New York Magazine reported that a teenager from Michigan who put together some of BuzzFeed’s most popular quizzes was being paid in free swag such as mugs, books, water bottles and clothes.

Former and current staff have also noted the extension of BuzzFeed’s fellowship programme from three months to a year. Buzzfeed employee Krystie Lee Yandoli explained, “BuzzFeed is currently hiring year-long editorial and video fellows. In the past, fellowship programs were 3-4 months & paid hourly wages with no benefits. Applications are due today while layoffs are happening across the company affecting full-time employees in those same depts.”

BuzzFeed is yet to respond to any of the recent controversies.

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