Employees said that their decision to pen a letter of complaint was prompted by Masuoka’s firing of the museum’s former education director, who had pushed for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion while at the institution. Three employees also told ARTnews that Masuoka used derogatory language in a meeting to describe the city’s black population, calling them “Summit Lake people,” a reference to a poor Akron neighborhood with a large African American community. According to the employees, Masuoka said that black visitors from Akron wouldn’t be able to access the mobile applications the museum developed because they used “throwaway gangster phones.”Many of the museum's staff have now either been laid off or have had hours reduced in light of the pandemic. But the museum's public and private messaging has not been aligned. Executives told the press that some of the 35 full-time employees would be furloughed or have hours reduced, but that everyone would receive full wages until May 1.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.