This summer has been a maelstrom of fresh accusations against powerful bosses, echoing the rise of MeToo in 2017. And unfortunately, these allegations of workplace abuse, harassment, and discrimination have begun to take on an all-too-familiar pattern—workers, particularly workers of color, report being tokenized in organizations with unyielding glass ceilings while simultaneously being overworked and subjected to harassing comments and behaviors. If the boss is male, those shitty working conditions generally include unwanted sexual conversation and uncomfortable references to the boss’s dick.
Troy Young, Hearst Magazines president, is the latest boss to face allegations of inappropriate sexual comments in a workplace setting. According to two witnesses speaking to the New York Times, Young asked to keep a sex toy that had been sent to Cosmopolitan magazine but worried he would “definitely need the bigger one” in reference to the holes in two others, ostensibly because his alleged penis is allegedly too big to fit inside them.
In another instance, a woman at Cosmopolitan’s holiday party says she was talking about a bad date where the man she was seeing complained about his ex’s smell. “Mr. Young told her that she should have inserted her fingers into herself and asked her date if he liked her smell,” according to the Times. Other sources told the Times that Young had emailed pornography to former Esquire editor Jay Fielden.
In response to the allegations regarding the holiday party, Young said in a statement, “Candid conversations about sex defined the Cosmo brand for decades, and those who worked there discussed it openly.”
These allegations come on the heels of other allegations from women of color who worked at Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire. Former employees, including Jazmin Jones and former Jezebel reporter Prachi Gupta, say that they felt marginalized while working at the women’s outlets, saying that women of color were disparaged over their hair and makeup and faced pay discrimination, among other forms of discrimination.
In response to the myriad of allegations facing Hearst and Cosmopolitan, the magazine has created an initiative called “Cosmo Can Do Better” with the intention of hiring more BIPOC. And last month Hearst named Samira Nasr top editor at Harper’s Bazaar, the first woman of color to take the position. It remains to be seen what the company will do about all the dicks and unwanted conversation around them in their offices.