At the end of March, NPR was forced to conduct major layoffs and podcast cancellations following a $30 million sponsorship shortfall. These layoffs prompted immediate backlash and accusations of racism and misogyny, just because some of the laid-off employees were people of color or LGBTQ.

Liberal media outlet NPR, whose budget is comprised of more than 25% taxpayer dollars, cut about 10% of its workforce across all departments, as well as four podcasts – Invisibilia, Louder Than a Riot, Rough Translation, and Everyone & Their Mom.

One of these podcasts, Louder Than a Riot, was quick to speak out against NPR leadership, accusing them of intentionally targeting Black and LGBTQ employees/programs.

Louder Than a Riot is a podcast about the double standards, oppression, and injustices faced by black women and queer people.

Following the NPR layoffs, the Louder Than a Riot Twitter page announced the show’s cancellation, saying, “Louder Than a Riot has been cancelled [sic] by NPR. Our producers and editor have been laid off, although NPR would like everyone to stay on until June to finish publishing the show. We are taking some time to process what this looks like for our staff.”

They added that they are disappointed in this news due to the hard work they have put into the show over the last year. Then, they launched their accusations of racism and misogyny at NPR, claiming that the majority of those impacted by the layoffs were queer and people of color.

“The hardest part is that our [season] is about misogynoir queer, trans, Black women face in hip-hop. Yet [within] NPR, the majority impacted in these layoffs were queer, [people of color] staff & programs. NPR has claimed [queer and trans people of color] are the same [people] they are trying to reach with their ‘North Star.'”

A couple of days later, the podcast’s Twitter account issued a correction to their prior accusations, stating that the layoffs had not disproportionately impacted people of color. In a note issued to NPR staff by CEO John Lansing, the layoffs maintained an unchanged workforce demographic of 42% people of color and 58% women.

Louder Than a Riot wrote,

“We’re issuing a correction to our tweet last week. Per our CEO John Lansing, NPR followed its principle that position eliminations not disproportionately impact POCs and other historically marginalized groups, in that NPR has substantially the same demographic breakdown as before.”

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