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Jennifer Sey on Corporate Censorship
Forbidden Conversations | E9
What responsibility does an employee or executive have to its corporate employer when it comes to limiting or using their freedom of speech? Does a corporation have the right to control speech? What about their spouse's? What happens when it’s at cross-roads with their own agenda or image? Is some speech deemed more acceptable than other? That’s at the core of much of our discourse on this episode of FORBIDDEN CONVERSATIONS where I’m joined by Jennifer Sey, who had risen through the ranks at Levi’s over her 20+ year tenure at the company and was on her way to become its CEO, until she was pushed to resign due to her vocal opposition to public school closure at the height of the pandemic.
Jennifer Sey is an American author, filmmaker, business executive and retired artistic gymnast. She was the 1986 USA Gymnastics National Champion, and a 7-time member of the U.S. Women’s National Team.
Her first memoir, "Chalked Up," was published in 2008, and detailed the systemic abuse of children in the sport of gymnastics. She also produced the 2020 Emmy award-winning documentary film, "Athlete A.”
Sey began working at Levi Strauss & Co. as a marketing assistant in 1999, rising to Chief Marketing Officer and then Global Brand President. In January 2022, she was asked to resign because of her vocal opposition to the extended closure of San Francisco’s public schools.
Sey’s latest memoir, “Levi’s Unbuttoned,” not only recounts her rise up the corporate ladder and the events that led to her ouster, it also gives an unprecedented, insider’s view of the cruel, exploitative hypocrisy that underpins woke capitalism. She is a mother of four, and now resides in Denver with her family.
FORBIDDEN CONVERSATIONS is a series that takes on topics that don't always get attention or are more challenging to tackle and seeks to address them through civil discourse and nuanced exploration. To view all episodes so far, visit here. Please subscribe, like and comment. You know, all the YouTube things. Want to listen only? Find us on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
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Who am I? I’m a writer with an overactive imagination and a random mind. Outside of Substack, you’ll find my work in publications such as Newsweek, WIRED, Variety, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Esquire, Playboy, Mashable, CNN Travel, The Independent, and many others.