Billboard former employees are lashing out against the company using its own platform in what is being called the prank of the pandemic.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of companies are downscaling their workforce to reduce costs while their revenue has been cut as well. Valence Media, which is the corporate giant that owns Billboard, is no exception as they reportedly laid off a ton of their workers on Tuesday. The huge staff cut spanned across company networks from the whole IT team to their writers and even editors. While many people would just accept the loss and find different mechanisms to cope with such an abrupt and devastating end to their work careers, the Billboard for web IT squad went out with a bang as they left their mark through sophisticated vandalism.
Following the bunch of staff getting laid off, the Billboard website published an article entitled “Billboard/Hollywood Reporter Lays Off Entire IT Staff Due to Covid19”, which was a rather strange headline for the music giant. Apparently, after being laid off, some members of the IT staff simply could not resist letting the whole world know what their bosses have done while ridiculing them in the process.
Having had access to the back end for some time after being laid off, they used the opportunity to publish the article, which read: “In the wake of Covid19 pandemic, Valence Media has decided to lay off their entire web IT staff. Effective today. The online Billboard Charts are essentially perfect, so IT staff are no longer needed.” While the jaw-dropping story was enough to send the internet into a frenzy, the punch line was yet to come.
The article included a quote from the 1978 comedy “Animal House,” which seemed to be aimed at the IT team’s former superiors. “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life,” they wrote. In the series, Stephen Furst’s character, whose photo is also the header image for the article itself, was an underachiever who was told this. Though the article has since been removed from the website, it was no sooner than it was screenshotted and essentially archived for the pandemic history books.