You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Wisconsin-based Quad/Graphics stopped a Minneapolis agency from saying 'Black Lives Matter'

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel logo Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 7/6/2020 Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin-based Quad/Graphics Inc. stopped a Minneapolis agency from using the phrase "Black Lives Matter," prompting the entire staff to walk off the job last week. 

Quad-owned Periscope said that the words "Black Lives Matter" were struck from a drafted statement the agency planned to release.

The marketing agency is based in Minneapolis, where George Floyd died after a police officer knelt on his neck. Floyd's death on May 25 inspired protests in Minneapolis and across the country against police brutality and systemic racism.  

Get daily updates on the Packers during the season.

Periscope said the removal of "Black Lives Matter" was done by Quad President and CEO Joel Quadracci. 

Last Wednesday, 13 Periscope staff members walked out in protest. Thursday, the rest of the about 180-employee agency walked off the job. 

"We will never again compromise our values as an agency to make our parent company feel comfortable," Periscope wrote in a statement signed by staff. "Their actions and inaction have had an irreversible impact on our colleagues of color and we regret that we did not take stronger action sooner to right this wrong." Quad/Graphics acquired Periscope in 2018. 

Quadracci apologized in a statement, using the phrase "Black Lives Matter" twice. 

"Quad can and will do better as we move forward on this journey together," Quadracci's statement said. "Unfortunately, we were slow to communicate our position so, today, I want to unequivocally confirm that Black Lives Matter and apologize for any pain I may have caused our employees, clients and others for not explicitly stating this fact sooner. I am sorry."

Periscope asked that its parent company mandate diversity and inclusion training for all leaders and managers, release diversity data for the company and support the agency's freedom of expression. Quad said it was developing training for all employees and would release Periscope's diversity data. 

“As far as Periscope employees’ request for freedom of expression, we support this request and believe in and trust that the leadership team at Periscope will amplify resources and groups fighting for a better tomorrow in a responsible way that supports the change we all want to see happen in our world, while also continuing to innovate for and serve our clients.

Quad has around 8,000 employees in Wisconsin with large plants in Sussex, Hartford, Lomira and West Allis. 

Sarah Hauer can be reached at shauer@journalsentinel.com or on Instagram @HauerSarah and Twitter @SarahHauer. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter Be MKE at jsonline.com/bemke

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin-based Quad/Graphics stopped a Minneapolis agency from saying 'Black Lives Matter'

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon