Brittany Kaplan has accused Leisure Weekly’s fired high editor, J.D. Heyman, of joking in regards to the Holocaust and fascinating in racist and sexist conduct in a lawsuit in opposition to the journal and its proprietor DotDash Meredith.
Among the many different allegations within the lawsuit filed Tuesday by Kaplan, a senior editor at EW, Heyman is claimed to have known as singer Jewel “snaggletooth” whereas insulting her for beforehand being homeless. Kaplan additionally says Heyman argued in opposition to placing Black expertise on the Black Historical past Month version of EW as a result of he needed the quilt to be “joyous.” The lawsuit additionally states Leisure Weekly tried to maintain complaints in opposition to Heyman out of public view.
Kaplan shared quite a few different allegations about Heyman mishandling EW covers. She says he made unspecified “jokes in regards to the Holocaust” and deliberately disregarded Kristen Stewart’s request that she not be featured on the June 2020 Delight Month journal cowl. Kaplan additionally says Heyman “torpedoed” a possible Ryan Reynolds cowl “as a result of Mr. Reynolds needed his various costars on the quilt with him.”
“As the continued wave of civil unrest flooded the USA within the Summer season of 2020, Mr. Reynolds graciously tried to make use of his fame to amplify his various co-stars’ title, picture and likeness,” the lawsuit states. “Mr. Heyman claimed that the quilt can be too sophisticated to tug off with the three stars.”
As an alternative, the quilt “featured six white individuals” and one member of the BIPOC group.
Later that yr, Heyman put the late Chadwick Boseman on a canopy of EW “over the categorical objection of his household’s consultant,” the go well with alleges.
Kaplan says she “made varied inside complaints” about Heyman’s conduct. Whereas no motion in opposition to Heyman was taken on the time, Kaplan says she “was sidelined and stripped of just about all of her tasks,” and “was denied a promised title promotion and pay improve.”
“At the moment’s submitting is the unlucky results of not solely EW’s alleged discriminatory and retaliatory conduct, but in addition its utter unwillingness to take accountability for its conduct,” Kaplan’s lawyer, Wigdor LLP Accomplice Michael Willemin, mentioned in an announcement on Wednesday. “Ms. Kaplan has tried for years to resolve the topic of at the moment’s lawsuit wanting litigation, however her inside complaints, even these made after we had been retained to symbolize her, fell on deaf ears. Thus, Ms. Kaplan was left with no selection however to file this motion and hopes that EW will interact within the introspection essential to treatment the persevering with wrongs outlined within the criticism.”
A consultant for Leisure Weekly and DotDash Meredith didn’t instantly reply to TheWrap’s request for remark.
Final yr, Heyman was fired after a number of senior staffers filed complaints with the corporate’s human sources division accusing Heyman of making a hostile office by belittling staffers and making “inappropriate” and “racially insensitive” feedback.
In keeping with a number of people with data of the occasions, at the very least eight senior EW workers banded collectively to file complaints over the past a number of months and a number of other documented their case with emails in addition to recordings.
Tensions had been constructing at EW for a while. A former Meredith worker who labored with Heyman instructed TheWrap that Heyman’s blunt administration model created an instantaneous “tradition conflict” from the second he took over as EW’s editor in chief in June 2019 from beloved longtime editor Henry Goldblatt. The person mentioned the workers felt “whiplash” from Heyman’s “cynical” demeanor following Goldblatt’s extra “earnest” method.