Brittany Luse Husband: The Remarkable Journey of Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings

On a chilly afternoon in late February, Eric Eddings, a renowned podcast producer and host, sent a preemptive apology via text to his close friend and long-time creative partner, Brittany Luse. “Hey, I’m about to do this, I’m sorry,” he wrote. Then, he published a series of tweets that would dramatically alter their lives.

Eddings, along with Brittany Luse, co-created and hosted a podcast about Black culture called “The Nod.” His tweets revealed allegations of harassment and racial discrimination at their former workplace, Gimlet Media, a prominent podcast company.

These allegations implicated two of Eddings’s former colleagues who worked on another Gimlet podcast called “Reply All.” The situation highlighted significant issues in major media companies today, such as the predominance of white staff, the conduct of star reporters off-duty, and the burgeoning labor movement.

Despite understanding the potential backlash from addressing racial injustice at work, Eddings felt compelled to speak out. “I had been really nervous about what might be next — or might not be next — if I spoke up,” he admitted in a recent interview. However, what unfolded was both hopeful and challenging.

This week marks the return of Eddings and Luse with a new podcast, “For Colored Nerds,” their first since leaving Gimlet in January 2020. This playfully intellectual conversation show delves into hot topics in Black culture, ranging from the history of “passing” to characters from “Insecure.” Initially run independently from 2014 to 2017, the reboot is co-produced and distributed by the podcast publisher Stitcher, owned by SiriusXM. Remarkably, Eddings and Luse retain full ownership and creative control.

A Groundbreaking Deal in the Podcast Industry

The deal with Stitcher is groundbreaking, as major media companies typically safeguard potentially lucrative intellectual property. This arrangement began when Sarah van Mosel, Stitcher’s former chief financial officer, noticed Eddings’s Twitter thread. Stitcher subsequently hired Eddings as its director of lifestyle programming.

For Eddings, 35, and Luse, 34, this new arrangement offers more than the opportunity to host their show again. The pair, who met at Howard University over 15 years ago, have been navigating the often perilous media landscape — particularly challenging for people of color — for nearly as long. In the aftermath of the Gimlet episode, they yearned for a new paradigm that would allow them to create fulfilling work without harm.

“I think Eric and I just want to be responsible citizens and colleagues in the spaces that we occupy,” Luse explained. “That’s really the only thing that we’ve been striving for this whole time.”

The Beginning of a Creative Partnership

Eddings and Luse first crossed paths in 2005 through mutual friends. Eddings, a sophomore from Memphis studying advertising, found Luse, a freshman from Farmington Hills, Michigan studying film, fun at parties. Luse admired Eddings’s infectious ambition.

Both shared a similar irreverent sense of humor and a love for provocative topics, such as art, race, politics, and relationships. Post-graduation during the recession era, they each struggled to find a career path. Luse returned home, working various internships and clerical jobs, eventually quitting a full-time position in 2011 after experiencing sexual harassment. In 2012, Eddings, working as a social media producer in New York, urged her to move to the city, offering his futon as a temporary home.

“It was a classically Eric thing to do,” Luse recalled. “Look — you ain’t got no job. Come stay with us until you get on your feet.”

Creating “For Colored Nerds”

In late 2013, after several baskets of hot wings and a marathon conversation, they conceived the idea for a podcast. Inspired by the rising medium and the Podcasts app for the iPhone, they saw a potential creative outlet. They named their show “For Colored Nerds,” signaling both a beacon and a filter for Black conversations. Their tagline: “the conversations that Black people have when white people aren’t in the room.”

Their podcast joined a wave of Black podcasts that emerged between 2013 and 2016, such as “The Read,” “Bodega Boys,” “Another Round,” “Still Processing,” and “2 Dope Queens.” Black creators, often under- or misrepresented in existing media, flocked to new platforms in search of greener pastures.

“It was the beginning of folks realizing that we could be a force in this industry,” Eddings said. “People were hungry to hear other people who thought like they thought, who had experiences that they recognized from their own lives.”

Gaining Recognition and Facing Challenges at Gimlet

In early 2015, Apple featured “For Colored Nerds” in the “New and Noteworthy” section of the Podcasts app, significantly boosting its reach. Among the new fans were executives at Gimlet Media, who hired Luse as the company’s first Black employee in September 2015. “I was 27 and had constantly been changing jobs; no one had ever taken an interest in me or my skills professionally,” Luse said. “For them to say, ‘There’s more for you here, you could have a career,’ was the wildest thing to me. It was really amazing to hear that.”

Eddings joined Luse at Gimlet in 2016. They pitched what eventually became “The Nod,” focusing on unsung figures of Black history. Initially rejected, they secretly developed a meticulous prototype that won approval. However, they faced consistent overwork and second-guessing, often having to justify their stories to an extent not expected of their white peers.

“It was always I can’t hear it or What does this mean? or Why is this important?” Luse recounted. “We were having those conversations all the time.”

Unionization and Departure from Gimlet

Despite critical acclaim for “The Nod,” Eddings and Luse grew frustrated. In 2019, they supported a unionization effort at Gimlet, motivated partly by a desire to improve working conditions for employees of color. The pushback was intense, with Eddings receiving hostile messages, including one that called him a derogatory term.

When Eddings and Luse left Gimlet in January 2020, “The Nod” podcast ended, as Spotify retained ownership. The mobile streaming platform Quibi later licensed “The Nod” brand for a daily video series hosted by the duo, but it shuttered in October 2020.

A New Beginning with “For Colored Nerds”

The revival of “For Colored Nerds” signifies both a spiritual and professional reset for Eddings and Luse. With a clear sense of purpose and legal counsel, they made ownership of the show’s distribution feed and intellectual property a mandatory condition of their agreement with Stitcher.

Peter Clowney, vice president of content at Stitcher, emphasized the company’s flexibility in accommodating creators’ needs. “It’s not just about ownership — it’s about investing in something,” he said, noting that Stitcher would receive a share of ad revenue from “For Colored Nerds.”

The new show, produced by Kameel Stanley, will publish weekly and feature interviews and talk-show games with celebrities and newsmakers. Notable guests include Jay Ellis from “Insecure” and Nikole Hannah-Jones from The New York Times Magazine.

Ashley C. Ford, author of the memoir “Somebody’s Daughter,” praised the show’s potential to set new standards for creator-company partnerships. “You should want to work with your talent, not control or exploit them,” she said.

Back to Work with Full Control

Last week, just days before their show’s debut, Eddings and Luse were busy editing episodes, recording ads, and finalizing social media posts. This time, they had no one to answer to but themselves.

“It’s exciting to be back in the doing of it,” Eddings said. “We really do love this stuff.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Brittany Luse’s husband?

Brittany Luse is a prominent figure in podcasting, but information about her personal life, including her marital status, is not publicly available. She tends to keep her private life separate from her professional endeavors.

What was “The Nod” podcast about?

“The Nod” was a podcast co-hosted by Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings that focused on stories about Black life and culture. It celebrated unsung figures of Black history and covered various topics relevant to the Black community.

Why did Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings leave Gimlet Media?

Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings left Gimlet Media due to frustrations over workplace culture, including issues of harassment and racial discrimination. They also faced challenges with overwork and a lack of creative control.

What is “For Colored Nerds”?

“For Colored Nerds” is a podcast created by Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings. It features intellectual conversations about Black culture, covering topics like history, media, and current events. The show is produced and distributed by Stitcher.

What makes the new “For Colored Nerds” different from the original?

The new “For Colored Nerds” offers Eddings and Luse full ownership and creative control. This reboot is more conversational and less reported, focusing on topics that interest the hosts and their guests, reflecting their growth and experiences in the podcasting industry.

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