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 habits 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 referred to 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 duvet 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 numerous costars on the duvet with him.”
“As the continuing wave of civil unrest flooded the US within the Summer season of 2020, Mr. Reynolds graciously tried to make use of his fame to amplify his numerous co-stars’ title, picture and likeness,” the lawsuit states. “Mr. Heyman claimed that the duvet could be too difficult to tug off with the three stars.”
As a substitute, the duvet “featured six white individuals” and one member of the BIPOC neighborhood.
Later that 12 months, Heyman put the late Chadwick Boseman on a canopy of EW “over the specific objection of his household’s consultant,” the swimsuit alleges.
Kaplan says she “made numerous inner complaints” about Heyman’s habits. Whereas no motion in opposition to Heyman was taken on the time, Kaplan says she “was sidelined and stripped of nearly all of her obligations,” and “was denied a promised title promotion and pay improve.”
“Immediately’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 Associate Michael Willemin, stated in a press release on Wednesday. “Ms. Kaplan has tried for years to resolve the topic of as we speak’s lawsuit wanting litigation, however her inner complaints, even these made after we have been retained to signify her, fell on deaf ears. Thus, Ms. Kaplan was left with no alternative however to file this motion and hopes that EW will have interaction 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 12 months, 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.
Based on a number of people with information of the occasions, at the very least eight senior EW staff banded collectively to file complaints during the last 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 fashion created a right away “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 stated the workers felt “whiplash” from Heyman’s “cynical” demeanor following Goldblatt’s extra “earnest” strategy.