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Getty Staffers Send Open Letter Complaining of Racial Bias

By Staff Writer

Hundreds of current and former Getty Center employees have signed an open letter complaining of racial bias at the museum.

The letter addressed July 15, was sent to the Getty Board of Trustees.

“Racism abounds, from insensitive comments made by management and frequent microaggressions experienced by staff and visitors of color to collecting practices and exhibition programs that glorify the work of white heterosexual cisgender male artists to the exclusion of others,” reads the letter, which as of the time of publishing had over 800 signatories.

“Black Lives Matter! Three simple words that Getty has time and again refused to state publicly. Getty employees support the current movement for social justice and stand in solidarity with our colleagues across the country to dismantle white supremacy at our institutions. We recognize the immeasurable impact Black talent has made to the art world and specifically to Getty,” the letter went on to say.

Read full letter here

In response, the Board released a letter which included the statement: “The Getty Board of Trustees and senior leadership stand united behind the declaration: Black Lives Matter.”

“Racism has stained all of our institutions, including museums and Getty, and must be confronted and eliminated,” the response reads. “Ideas and recommendations submitted by Getty staff are being heard and considered seriously by senior leadership and the DEI [Diversity, Equity and Inclusion] Council. In turn, senior staff has committed to us that DEI work comprises strategic imperatives necessary to the fulfillment of Getty’s mission, and that detailed DEI work plans with goals, strategies, timelines, and resources will be shared with Getty staff on an ongoing basis, starting with the Board’s September meeting. We recognize that this opportunity for change requires both immediate action and long-term effort, and we are profoundly committed to it.”

According to the response, ideas and recommendations submitted by Getty staff are being heard and considered seriously by senior leadership and the DEI Council. Detailed DEI work plans with goals, strategies, timelines, and resources will be shared with Getty staff on an ongoing basis, starting with the Board’s September meeting.

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