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April 11, 2005

The Source of Our Pain

I got 99 problems, and a bitch is 1...>

They built it by walking across our collective backs. When I was at the source, Women ran shit literally and figuratively. We led the editorial meetings, we held down the fort, we provided the research, development, fact-checking, writing, planning and scheduling it took to print the most popular rap magazine on the planet. But we also provided the ass. I've said it many times before - in order to be considered for employment at the source, as a woman, in addition to having (in most cases) the skills to pay the bills and the resume to back your shit up - you had to have a big ass, a passably-pretty face, and at least a few pairs of painted-on jeans in your wardrobe. Regardless of race, color, creed, skin tone, or nationality - Black, Latina, mixed, white, Russian, or Jamaican; it was required for your booty to be at the forefront as if it were the sixth element of Hip Hop. And it was definitely a case of shake yo ass...watch yo'self. So now the truth is seeing the light of day as far as how we as Women at the source were treated. As Jay would say, it's...about...to go...down.

Press ReleaseSource: Thompson Wigdor & Gilly LLP

The Source Magazine Hit With Employment Discrimination Claims By Former Top Women, announces Thompson Wigdor & Gilly LLP
Monday April 11, 11:26 am ET

- Former Editor-in-Chief and Vice President Accuse Owners of The Source of Subjecting Women to Gender Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and RetaliationEEOC Charges Filed on Behalf of All Current and Former Female Employees

NEW YORK, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Earlier today, two of the highest-ranking former female executives of The Source magazine, the self-proclaimed "Bible of Hip Hop," filed charges of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accusing co-owners David Mays, the Chief Executive Officer, and Raymond "Benzino" Scott, the Chief Brand Executive, of committing gender discrimination, sexual harassment and unlawful retaliation against women at the Company.

The charges were filed by Kimberly Osorio, who was the first female Editor-in-Chief of The Source, and Michelle Joyce, who was the Vice President of Marketing. According to the charges, female employees were consistently discriminated against on the basis of their gender in favor of male employees, particularly with respect to hiring, promotions, compensation and benefits, working hours and discipline. The charges also allege that:

    * Raymond "Benzino" Scott has taken virtually complete control over The
Source from David Mays, and has placed many of his male associates from
Boston on the payroll who performed no meaningful work and/or did not
adhere to the same rules, policies and procedures that all female
employees were required to follow.

* Scott and Mays have fired or forced out of the Company without cause
many competent, dedicated and hardworking female employees and have
replaced them with men.

* David Mays yelled and cursed at female executives at The Source, whereas
he would not treat or talk to comparable male employees in such a

* Scott and Mays allowed another male employee to openly utter profanities
at Ms. Osorio, degrade her and threaten her with physical violence
without being punished for his actions.

* Women at The Source were repeatedly subjected to degrading acts of
sexual harassment.

* The sexual harassment was so severe and pervasive that the former
Managing Editor at The Source would often hide in her office and avoid
walking through the corridors out of fear of being sexually harassed.

* The Source engaged in a gender-based smear campaign against Hot 97 radio
personality and recording artist Angie Martinez.

"After dedicating five years to The Source, I could no longer endure the blatant gender discrimination and harassment so I spoke up, but it only hurt the situation because I was fired shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, discrimination and harassment in the workplace is very common and now I must speak out for all women who have been victims of this same type of treatment," said Ms. Osorio. "I chose to take a stand for women of the Hip Hop generation and for all women who quietly endure such treatment for fear of retaliation and for those women who have suffered in silence and quietly surrendered," said Ms. Joyce.

"Ms. Osorio and Ms. Joyce have shown extraordinary courage in coming forward, and we will fully vindicate their rights at trial," said Kenneth P. Thompson, their attorney and a former Federal Prosecutor who prosecuted the Abner Louima federal civil rights case. "All women should be treated fairly and with the utmost respect whether they are in the world of Hip Hop or not and we will prove that in this case," said Thompson.

According to the charges, both Ms. Osorio and Ms. Joyce complained about the discriminatory treatment against women at The Source, all to no avail. Instead of taking prompt action to end the discrimination, they allege that Messrs. Scott and Mays unlawfully terminated them despite their outstanding work performance. In fact, Ms. Osorio alleges that she was fired shortly after she refused to give in to Scott's and Mays' repeated demands that she rescind an email that she sent to Human Resources complaining about the unlawful conduct.

About Thompson Wigdor & Gilly: Thompson Wigdor & Gilly LLP http://twglawyers.com/ is a recently founded firm, specializing handling high- profile, complex litigation and investigations as well as counseling clients in a wide array of substantive legal areas, including employment law, criminal law, sports and entertainment law, labor relations and civil rights. They can be reached at 212.239.9292 or info@twglawyers.com.

The rebuttal cuts both ways like the double-edged standard that it is. It was fine for him to fuck N'Bushe, or Kelis, or insert-nameless-woman-of-color-here. But gender is hardly the great equalizer...

Thanks to www.allhiphop.com for this choice quotation from mr. mays,

"Neither of those women ever filed any complaints during many years of working at The Source it raises alot of questions when these types of charges are made subsequent to valid and legitimate terminations of their employment," Mays said in a statement. "Also it is a fact that Ms. Osorio had sexual relations with a number of high profile rap artists during her employment as Editor-In-Chief."

Mays also said Joyce may have falsified health claims in an affort to attack The Source upon learning she would be terminated.

"We look forward to our day in court on this matter," Mays said."


I got 99 problems. This one's a real bitch.


At 6:45 PM, Anonymous nixoplix said...

hey mirajuana,

good to see you doing your thing in MN. dying to hear more comments about the feminism and hiphop conference-- i haven't seen any other fellow bloggers post yet. so far you have my senses wide open! can I reprint your comments in my ezine-- thehotness.com? i plan to put something about the b-girl be conference in an upcoming issue so if you have any updates, holla. peace and keep killin' it! BTW--- happy belated (b)earthday--mine was yesterday and like yours, my celebration was also very grown and sexy (i.e. quiet and authentic)! :)

At 8:17 PM, Blogger MJ said...

Yes, Yes, and Yes. U are Nicole. I'm the same Miranda Jane. Still doing the thing... I'm preparing my comments now. U are more than welcome to reprint everything. Also check the upcoming event website for B-Girl Be, we're goin to keep building this movement.


Miranda Jane

At 10:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 5:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is unbelievable how much I am learning from blogging these days. I may not agree with all I read but it is a fascinating process. Please feel free to visit my blog too at
, RushPRnews Daily Gazette, Open-Call for Writers.
My site is** RushPRnews press release services, distribution and free web posting** . Cordially, Anne Laszlo-Howard


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