Since 1970, Essence magazine has been a publication targeted towards African-American women. As of Friday, Angela Burt-Murray, editor-in-chief of Essence, hired Ellianna Placas, the former fashion editor at O: Home and Us Weekly, to be the new Fashion Director for the magazine. This new hire is causing a little controversy because Ellianna is not black.
Angela Brut-Murray felt the need to release a statement defending her decision:
“I understand that this issue has struck an emotional chord with our audience,” said Burt-Murray, “however I selected Ellianna, who has been contributing to the magazine on a freelance basis for the last six months, because of her creativity, vision, the positive reader response to her work and her enthusiasm and respect for the audience and our brand. We remain committed to celebrating the unique beauty and style of African-American women in Essence magazine and online at Essence.com.”
Michaela Angela Davis is the former Fashion Director of Essence and put her feelings on Facebook:
Was she really hired for her skills or for the “WHITE” reason??!? How do you feel about this???