Complex responds to allegations: “Things are complex.”
During a time where people are calling out all inappropriate behavior, telling companies, people, and the government to do better, no organization is getting left behind.
On Friday, May 29, Complex issued a statement standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement in the wake of protests over George Floyd’s murder:
What seemed like a post of solidarity quickly backfired because of the stories that followed.
Tiffany Wines, a former Complex employee, posted on Twitter Friday, June 19, an open letter of her time at Complex and how she was treated as a Black woman in a company that profits off the Black community.
In the end, she was forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), and given severance for the trauma she endured there. Breaking her NDA, she bravely shared her story, and urged others to share theirs too, “especially the Black women that Complex Networks has chewed up and spit out with no regard for our dignity and humanity.”
— tiffany wines (@radioheadass) June 19, 2020
There was no response from the team at Complex for days after Wines shared her experience. What followed was a group of people who also shared their experiences. Kiana Fitzgerald, a seasoned reporter with bylines in NPR, Rolling Stone, and Paper Magazine, among others, quote tweeted Wines' post, with her own unfortunate experience.
The last few days have been tiring and triggering. Despite also signing an NDA, I have to publicly stand with @radioheadass. Complex is a machine that grinds up Black women for sport. It is astounding, the BS I was forced to endure. https://t.co/jLH1vqIVP3
— Kiana Fitzgerald (@KianaFitz) June 22, 2020
Many other former interns and employees shared their experiences of misogyny, racism, rape culture, and pay inequity. Wines also disclosed conversations on Twitter conversations that targeted her for asking to be in a decent workplace free from distractions.
Anyone at @Complex knows firsthand how disruptive the office can get. Some enjoy it, but for others, it’s impossible to get work done. Here’s a complaint I submitted to HR privately/anonymously, which Jay Salim then shared to the entire company to tone police the message. pic.twitter.com/QQJXH4WLKv
— tiffany wines (@radioheadass) June 20, 2020
On Monday, June 24, four days after the initial post, Complex responded with a disgraceful tweet on their burner account.
A brand that is so widely known to be ‘woke’ did a horrible job at taking ownership for their company culture.
To begin, they put their brands and community before their colleagues. Secondly, without an explanation of them “taking immediate action” what action is there other than this post- on their unverified account, with no post to instagram?
Improvement should be about action, it should be a never-ending process.