Every Person With A Vagina Walked Out: Former Employees Talk About Toxic Culture At All Def Digital
Long before the sexual assault allegations against Russell Simmons surfaced and he resigned from the company, we already had an inkling that things were awry at All Def Digital. That Harriet Tubman rape passed off as seduction skit was strange and the fact that he made it to the internet without anyone stopping it, let you know that something was awry.
Now the true nature and culture of the company is coming to light. And according to Rolling Stone, the company has fired its entire staff. But before laying off their entire staff and closing the company, the work environment was toxic.
While Tubefilter reported that the company was laying off its entire staff and closing entirely, All Def Digital CEO Chris Blackwell disputed the notion, telling Variety that “we are reorganizing the company in advance of a strategic deal.”
Former employees are speaking out about the ways things are unfolding. One, who wished to mantain his or her anonymity, said, “No one knows the truth, which is the scariest part of it. I don’t think anyone’s ever been told the truth in that building. The way Chris is talking about it now makes it sound even crazier.”
Several former employees said that they were told the company wouldn’t continue operating because they were hit by one too many scandals and the entire company was considered “radioactive” by investors.
While All Def Digital, launched in 2013, was able to do accomplish some impressive feats, like developing programming for HBO and Facebook and collecting $18 million from investors, there were problems in-house.
But one employee said, “The content was dope, but the leadership was piss-poor.”
After Simmons left the company due to the sexual assault allegations, the investor money went with him. But Simmons wasn’t the only issue with the company. Another former employee said, “Every bad stereotype that you hear about what this industry could be thrived in that environment. It was a sh*t show from the day I started. It was everything you were warned about. This ‘oh it’s post-Russell’ era? It was just a jersey they wore for show. We were down to just two women at one point because literally every other person with a vagina walked out of the building.”
Employees said four women left at the same time because they didn’t like the work environment. Other employees say they were guilt-tripped into taking on several, more physical jobs and suffered injuries as a result. The staff went from 60 to 15. When employees, men and women, attempted to file HR reports, citing harassment and bullying, they were told that the company didn’t have an HR department.
Ultimately, employees are sadden by the wasted potential of the company given the talent at the company and the content they were created.