Abiola Oke, CEO and publisher of the indie music website Okayplayer and OkayAfrica, has resigned after allegations of inappropriate behavior and creating a toxic work environment surfaced on Twitter on Tuesday.
Questlove, who co-founded Okayplayer in 1987, shared the company’s statement on Instagram on Wednesday.
“Effective immediately, we have severed all ties and accepted the resignation of Abiola Oke as CEO and Publisher of Okayplayer and OkayAfrica. We take the allegations that have surfaced very seriously, and we stand with the brave women who came forward,” the statement said.
Questlove added, “More announcements coming up. This was long overdue” in the caption. The statement also said that an outside party will investigate the the company’s policies and practices. “We’re committed to creating a work environment that’s inclusive and respectful for all,” the statement said.
On Tuesday, Ivie Ani a former writer for Okayplayer, and several others shared a statement demanding that Oke step down or be removed as CEO.
“From 2015 to 2020, several Black women working across Okayplayer and OkayAfrica were subject to a lack of support and resources, below market salaries, inadequate leadership, targeting and sabotage, slander, verbal abuse, inappropriate behavior, gaslighting, lack of empathy, manipulation, rationalizing poor or unethical conduct and wrongful termination,” she wrote.
— Ivie Ani (@ivieani) June 24, 2020
Other people came forward on Twitter with similar allegations, including one woman who claimed Oke sexually harassed her.
“When Abiola Oke was in a position of authority and influence over her, he sexually harassed her continually and verbally abused her when she tried to make him stop,” the woman told photojournalist Yagazie Emezi, who shared the allegation on Twitter.
A woman has come forward anonymously to share her story about current CEO @Abiolaoke of @OkayAfrica. Please amplify, and if anyone would like to share theirs, I’m here for you. Thank you for speaking up. Protect Black women. pic.twitter.com/smm8N30ea3
— Yagazie Emezi (@YagazieEmezi) June 24, 2020