The reckoning our community is currently facing has exposed the culture of sexism, misogyny, racism, and otherwise abhorrent behavior that has long been overlooked in the beer industry. Modern Times is far from exempt in this. As Modern Times employees, we are hurt, angry, disappointed, and exhausted. We denounce the facade of transparency and equity constructed and implemented by leadership over the past 8 years. It does not reflect our values or experiences.
Allegations against current and former employees have allowed us to hear the accounts of our peers, continue incredibly difficult, important conversations, and start new ones. As we uncover, discuss, and unpack the aftermath of the seriously flawed systems we have long operated under, we hope to begin to fundamentally change the oppressive and inequitable practices that have blocked our path towards real inclusivity.
The first steps of this long journey include setting up third-party reporting and investigation (STOPit Solutions), mandatory bystander and conflict de-escalation training for all managers and public-facing roles (Hollaback!), bringing on anti-oppression experts in the workplace (Engage to Change), and simply listening to each other. Other immediate actions will include the rewriting of anti-harassment policy and training, an audit of fair and equal pay conducted by a third party, and a code of conduct for the League and our future guests.
We also feel that it is vital to acknowledge that this push toward change is not new work; this is work that many Modern Times staff members have been trying to accomplish for years, only to be overlooked or have their efforts repressed or ignored. This is a reckoning for our company leadership, and a moment where they must recognize that they overlook the equity and well-being of their employees at their own peril.
This initial game plan is subject to change, and it won’t happen overnight; we’re sure that as we listen, learn, and grow, things will need to be tweaked, but this is a time for Modern Times to evolve. As the employees who make MT what it is, we intend to finally see that the ideals and commitments we project as a company actually align with our day-to-day experiences. None of this can be meaningfully accomplished without rebuilding one of the most important things that has been destroyed: trust. Not only must we learn to trust each other as employees, we must also repair the trust that Modern Times has broken with our supporters. We understand that it’s not just our own employees that have been hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed, but also the people who have long sung our praises, and even invested in Modern Times.
We are clearly a long, long way from perfect, but as we begin this long overdue course-correction, we hope that we can begin to regain the trust of our community. Huge, damaging mistakes were made by leadership, but these mistakes are not representative of the vast majority of Modern Times employees--people who have shed blood, sweat, and tears for a company they truly believed in. These people are the reason Modern Times is anything worth fighting for, and they deserve better.
The gravity of this crisis has already affected change on a grand scale. We hope to use that momentum to create a future for MT as a company with integrity that can do far better for its employees and for its community. These are only words now, and we have a long road ahead, but we are committed as a staff to seeing it through to create a workplace—and a company—we can be proud of.