This week Abiola Oke, the CEO and publisher of Okayplayer and OkayAfrica, has stepped down from his post after allegations of sexual misconduct and creating a toxic work environment surfaced on Twitter.
Over the last several days, several former and current Okayplayer and OkayAfrica employees have come forward on social media with their stories of demoralizing, misogynistic and deeply problematic experiences while dealing with Oke.
Tuesday, seven Black women created an aggregate of these anecdotes in a letter calling for Oke’s removal due to the “lack of support and resources, below-market salaries, inadequate leadership, targeting and sabotage, slander, verbal abuse, inappropriate behavior, gaslighting, lack of empathy, manipulation, rationalizing poor or unethical conduct and wrongful termination.”
Most recently, the Nigerian-American businessman was also accused of sexual harassment.
“A woman has come forward anonymously to share her story about current CEO @Abiolaoke of @OkayAfrica. Please amplify, and if anyone would like to share theirs, I’m here for you. Thank you for speaking up. Protect Black women,” tweeted photojournalist Yagazie Emezi, while sharing the account of an employee who wished to remain anonymous.
“When Abiola Oke was in a position of authority and influence over her, he sexually harassed her continually and verbally abused her when she tried to make him stop,” Emezi continued.
— Ivie Ani (@ivieani) June 24, 2020
In response to the disturbing accounts, Wednesday, Questlove, who co-founded indie music website Okayplayer in 1987, shared the company’s statement on Instagram.
“Effective immediately, we have severed all ties and accepted the resignation of Abiola Oke as CEO and Publisher of Okayplayer and OkayAfrica. We take the allegations that have surfaced very seriously, and we stand with the brave women who came forward,” the statement said, adding, “We’re committed to creating a work environment that’s inclusive and respectful for all.”
The hip-hop veteran also noted in his caption, “More announcements coming up. This was long overdue.”
A woman has come forward anonymously to share her story about current CEO @Abiolaoke of @OkayAfrica. Please amplify, and if anyone would like to share theirs, I’m here for you. Thank you for speaking up. Protect Black women. pic.twitter.com/smm8N30ea3
— Yagazie Emezi (@YagazieEmezi) June 24, 2020
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