vanity fair no people of color racism

It’s a Vanity Fair magazine tale as old as time. All year long the men and women of Hollywood, many of them people of color, work hard to produce award worthy projects. Then Vanity Fair comes along to choose the cream of the crop for their annual Hollywood Issue. The list reads like a very well-known ‘who’s who,’ featuring the likes of Halle Berry, Ben Affleck and more, yet when it comes to the cover it seems only the cream of a certain color make the cut.

They try to appease the darker half with a spot on the cover’s gatefold (the part that folds into the magazine), but we all know that being seen on the actual cover, the one that will be seen on newsstands across the globe, is the only section that carries real weight. So once again, Vanity Fair dims the light that is Hollywood’s colored actors and actresses for another year and we are left to wonder, again … what the hell is the deal?

Since this isn’t the first time this has happened you would think that when Vanity Fair released the cover for its 19th annual Hollywood Issue, a circus-themed portfolio called “Bruce Weber’s Adventures in Hollywood,” we wouldn’t be left with a bad taste in our mouths. But alas, when the magazine revealed Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone as the cover stars, with youngest-ever best-actress nominee Quvenzhané Wallis and Kerry Washington regulated to the cover’s gatefold wasteland, that taste was as fresh and rank as ever.

But should we care?

vanity fair cover 2013

Clearly Vanity Fair sees nothing wrong with how they present the “best” of Hollywood to the world and I guess we can and should be proud that Vanity Fair chose to recognize the talent of people of color at all considering that there are so many media outlets that would rather pretend our talents don’t exist.

But still, it’s upsetting that the magazine makes an obviously conscious decision to keep people of color off the cover. The first time might have been an oversight, second and third, a mistake, but by the time you hit nineteen it is clearly a planned decision. Every year we get up in arms about the lack of melanin on the cover and every year we are ignored, so with the release of this latest issue one has to ask themselves if it’s worth fighting about anymore.

Vanity Fair is only one magazine; for every rebuff, there are several others out there who have no problems with putting Kerry Washington on the cover, front, center and in all her Scandalous glory. Perhaps if Vanity Fair doesn’t want to fully support talented people of color, maybe we should stop supporting them. Stop buying their issues and talking about their features. Starting with the end of this piece right here, and starting right now.

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  • WhitFerg

    While reading this, I maintained a somewhat hesitant demeanor; I try not to quickly get upset about issues when I do not have the facts. All the while, I gave Vanity Fair the benefit of the doubt. That was only up until the mentioning of the fact that in all nineteen issues, the only black people on the cover were on the part of the cover that folded into the magazine. That is outrageous to me. There is no way that is a coincidence. That is a conscious decision. And it speaks volumes about our society! It as if Vanity Fair is to say, ‘yes, African-American, you can be on our cover; we will put you right here on the inside where you can only be seen by those who pick up the magazine and open and unfold the cover.’ Something else that stood out to me in this article is the need to express appreciation for the fact that African-Americans are acknowledged at all and given any credit. The fact that this has to be pointed out, emphasized, and appreciated definitely says something. No one is going around like, ‘we do appreciate Vanity Fair’s efforts to include white actors in their Hollywood issue.’ On one hand, I agree, though; they at least include African-American actors in the issue at all. But on the other hand, that should not excuse what is going on with the covers of all nineteen issues.

  • handsomerandyblackladbrad1953

    We life-size Brad dolls,of whom I am one-from 1968-’72,Brad was Barbie’s then-boyfriend Brabie’s handsome black buddy,in the case of Yours Truly,a black Canadian lad who,five months short of 60,possesses boyish good looks,a muscular build-I’m 5’9″,200-205 lb.,18″ biceps-who’s said to resemble a handsome black cowboy in Wranglers jeans or Western garb-ALWAYS SUFFER DISCRIMINATION,ON THE BIG AND SMALL SCREEN,because we’re frankly FAR too handsome to be credibly cast in the entertainment industry’s top two black males roles,sidekick to the white star/stud and perverted or cognitively challenged pity and/or opprobrium object.