It seems that Essence magazine has a big controversy brewing. Big time.
The controversy comes from the recent hiring of a white woman, Elliana Placas, as their new fashion editor.
Former fashion director at Essence, Michaela Angela Davis, exclaimed recently on her Facebook page that “It’s with a heavy heart I’ve learned Essence Magazine has engaged a white Fashion Director. I love Essence and I love fashion. I hate this news and this feeling. It hurts, literally. The fashion industry has historically been so hostile to black people – especially women. ”
The news has created a lot of heated response. Many argue that it's inappropriate for a white woman to direct a magazine for black readers. Others, including CNN blogger Sophia Nelson, argue that "Essence is setting a very positive example in the magazine industry and at one of the world's largest corporations, Time Warner, that talent not race matters."
Essence Editor-in-Chief Angela Burt Murray is sticking to her guns and defending her choice. “I got to see firsthand her creativity, her vision, the positive reader response to her work and her enthusiasm and respect for the audience and our brand. As such, I thought she’d make an excellent addition to our team. And I still do. This decision in no way diminishes my commitment to black women, our issues, our fights. I am listening and I do take the concerns to heart.”
Did Essence do the right thing by hiring Elliana Placas? What do you believe was the motivation behind this controversial choice?