What’s the Deal With Hip Lifestyle Companies and Their Asshole Executives?

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones’ newsletters.I was browsing over at Vox this morning and came across a piece by Rebecca Jennings about the “racial reckoning” in women’s media:

Black former employees at Refinery29 and Man Repeller are speaking out about the hypocrisy of feminist fashion websites.

The focus of the piece, obviously, is on race, but what really struck me was something simpler: the folks who run these companies are just assholes. I’ve seen this over and over in stories about hip new companies that appeal to millennials: regardless of how woke they may be when it comes to racial hiring and diversity, the one thing they seem to have in common is a CEO and an executive staff who are arrogant, cliquey, and nasty. To the outside world they project an image of lifestyle chic, but internally they pay young workers practically nothing and routinely demand 60 hour weeks or more—of which two or three hours seem to be spent being yelled at.
What’s up with this? Do I just notice it a lot because the occasional examples all get written up? Or are these companies really the hellscapes they’re made out to be?

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