The hiring of a Elliana Placas, a caucasian, as fashion director for Essence, a magazine for black women, has caused some uproar. Editor-in-Chief Angela Burt-Murray explained her reasoning for the hire on website The Grio:
I first got to know and came to respect Ellianna when she came to work with us nearly six months ago. We were conducting a search for a new director when she was hired to run the department on a freelance basis. I got to see firsthand her creativity, her vision, the positive reader response to her work, and her enthusiasm and respect for the audience and our brand. As such, I thought she’d make an excellent addition to our team. And I still do. This decision in no way diminishes my commitment to black women, our issues, our fights. I am listening and I do take the concerns to heart.