One day after Moviefone editor Patricia Chui fired her stable of freelance writers, Chui's bosses have done the same to her, reports All Things D. The move comes after Chui wrote a callous letter to freelancers explaining that, while they would no longer get paid, they are "strongly encourage[d]" to keep working for free. Already, Chui's firing has sparked a flurry of Schadenfreude, such as New York Times media writer David Carr's much retweeted quip: "Moviefone editor who offered writers chance to work without pay will now have same opportunity."
It's worth pointing out, however, that the orders to sack all the freelancers didn't ultimately come from Chui. (However Chui has no one else to blame for last month's contretemps with fellow AOL-owned bloggers at TechCrunch.) And her offer to former freelancers to continue to work for free is hardly out of step with her now former boss' policies. In the two months since the Huffington Post sold to AOL for $315 million, Arianna Huffington's been taking a lot of heat for not compensating her army of unpaid bloggers. A vocal legion of unpaid writers began staging a boycott of her website. However, at a conference last month, Huffington shrugged off the writers' demand that they ought to be paid for their words. "Go ahead, go on strike," she said. "No one really notices."