Meredith accused of stiffing staffers on Ayesha Curry’s mag

Laid-off Meredith staffers have soured on the publishing company’s new Sweet July magazine — helmed by Food Network star Ayesha Curry.

Insiders tell Leak Herald employees of Shape magazine — for which Meredith shuttered print operations last month — had been pulling double duty working overtime on Curry’s lifestyle mag, but without receiving additional pay.

The employees received the ultimate slap in the face when they were let go from Shape a few weeks ago, we’re told.

“They were laid off without notice, but it seemed the company forgot the team that had been fired was also working on Curry’s magazine on top of Shape,” an insider explained.

Meredith announced the launch of the new quarterly magazine last year despite industry-wide ad woes. The Shape team produced five issues of Sweet July — a total of “roughly 375 hours from each worker” — according to a spokesperson from the News Guild labor union. Meredith is now desperate for the team to return to work to finish.

The premier issue of Sweet July featuring Ayseha Curry on the cover.
Sweet July
Former Meredith employees claim they had to work on Sweet July in addition to their duties with Shape magazine.
Former Meredith employees claim they had to work on Sweet July in addition to their duties with Shape magazine.

“There is still a sixth issue to produce, and the company knows it can’t make the magazine, so they’re asking the workers to return to work on the magazine as temporary employees and on a truncated production schedule that will be near to impossible to accomplish,” the spokesperson said.  

Ayesha Curry and her husband Steph Curry appeared on Sweet July's October issue.
Ayesha Curry and her husband, Steph Curry, appeared on Sweet July’s October issue.

Ayesha is also the wife of NBA star Steph Curry, and she has 7.3 million Instagram followers. The couple appeared on an October issue of the magazine with their kids.

Meanwhile, Meredith is in the process of being sold to Barry Diller’s IAC company for $2.7 billion and “[Meredith] refuses to pay [laid off staffers] back for the 375 hours they worked without overtime pay on her magazine,” the insider fumed.

“They’re looking to get away with this unpaid work by offering them temporary work — even after they fired them,” they added.

On Wednesday, staffers and the NewsGuild made noise on social media by asking supporters to repost messages and memes such as: “Pay workers what they’re owed. I stand with the union.”

They’d hoped Curry would use her platform to stand up for the workers, but she has so far remained silent.

“Ayesha, your vision for Sweet July emphasizes that the stories behind the makers are as important as the products they sell. Right now, the story is one of exploitation and unpaid labor. This is not your vision,” one post read.

Reps for Curry and Meredith did not immediately get back to us.

In September, Ayesha and Steph Curry renewed their vows after 10 years of marriage.