Complex Networks accused of having racist, misogynistic workplace

Business

By Keith J. Kelly

June 19, 2020 | 7:45pm

A pop culture digital publisher owned by Hearst and Verizon is the latest company to be blasted as hypocritical after declaring public support for nationwide racial injustice protests.

Complex Networks, which runs music, pop-culture, shopping and food sites, was slammed Friday as “not a safe space” for women or minorities to work by former staffer Tiffany Wines, who complained about a bullying boss and drug-laced cookies. Wines said she only wrote the letter after reading Complex Network’s statement in support of protests over the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police.

“If it wasn’t a slap in the face, I would have laughed out loud when I read it,” she said.

She called Complex Media a “toxic workplace culture steeped in misogyny, anti-blackness, rape culture and pay inequality across demographic lines that has thrived for far too long.”

A company spokesperson said Complex will initiate an investigation by a third party to reexamine the claim.

Wines’ main example involved complaints about the company’s senior director of social media, Arman Walia, saying he constantly undermined her on the company’s Slack.

“Arman always found new ways to criticize, undermine, or demean my work all while taking credit for the achievements the rest of the team accomplished…,” Wines, a black woman, claimed.

After complaining to Jay Salmin, executive VP, people and culture, she learned “of at least five other women who had gone to HR in an attempt to make their complaints heard.” But Walia was only promoted, she said.

Wines then blasted Complex for traumatizing her by leaving drug-laced cookies out for unsuspecting staffers to eat. “What followed was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life,” Wines said of the day she ate the cookies, not knowing they were laced with drugs, and then blacked out, resulting in friends and family searching for her and calling the police and area hospitals.

The incident, she said, suggests that “Complex is not only an unsafe space emotionally, it’s also an unsafe place physically.”

“We’re committed to creating a workplace free from unsafe conditions and harassment of any kind, and it’s important to us that we immediately address any issues with our company culture,” Complex’s statement said.

“We will also continue to investigate any and every claim that does not reflect the company values that our employees expect and deserve from us. While we disagree with some of the assertions that were made based on our findings and the values and policies we’ve installed, we will be initiating a new investigation immediately, conducted by a third to reexamine this claim.”

https://nypost.com/2020/06/19/complex-networks-accused-of-having-racist-misogynistic-workplace/amp/?&__twitter_impression=true