Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Vindicated: Kim Osorio wins $15.5 million in sexual harrasment suit against The Source
"I think this victory is significant not only for women in hip-hop but for our generation of women as a whole. I feel this case will give people the courage to stand up and say that sexual discrimination and sexual harassment will no longer be tolerated in hip-hop."
On October 24, Kimberly Osorio, The Source's editor in chief from 2002 to 2005, won $15.5 million against the hip-hop monthly.
Excerpt from interview in The Village Voice:
When did you begin working at The Source?
January of 2000. Editor in chief Carlito Rodriguez brought me in. I began as associate music editor, became music editor, and when Carlito left I was appointed executive editor. For seven months I held that title. It's important to say that because I was not given the title of EIC, but for seven months I did the work of an EIC. It wasn't until November 2002 that I would be given the official title...
Kim, after you were fired, Benzino gave a fiery radio interview, stating that you slept around, you were incompetent, you liked the fast lifestyle. He called you a ho and a slut. What was your gut reaction to these statements, and to some in the hip-hop community supporting Benzino?
I felt humiliated. I was already in a committed relationship. These rumors were hurtful and hateful. What did my private life have anything to do with my job? Whose business was it who I slept with? It was a way to smear me in the hip-hop community. I acknowledge a lot of the support given to me from others in the hip-hop community, from people I did not expect. The online petition that began immediately after Benzino made his comments made me feel like people get it. It empowered me and gave me more strength.
As women of color, do you bear any responsibility, not for what happened to you but for being part of an industry that objectifies women?
We all have a responsibility to protect hip-hop... People have to realize that The Source magazine is not Essence magazine; I was not going to change it, but I was trying to do something different there.
GET THESE BOOKS!: Put some feminism in yo' dome fool!
When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks It Down
Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism