News__ VANITY (TOO) FAIR

February 09, 2010 | By

“While we’d like to think celeb bible Vanity Fair puts a great deal of thought and planning into its annual “New Hollywood” issue, this year the editors really limited their scope when it came to choosing the next big stars. (Or perhaps they overemphasized the “Fair”? ) Every woman on its new cover is extremely thin and very, very white. Unless Vanity Fair considers one redhead to be diversity, we feel the need to cry foul.”

-Joanna Douglas, Shine

The "New Hollywood" issue of Vanity Fair, shot by Anne Leibowitz, has caused a stir of commenters (around 18,000) after Shine from Yahoo author Joanna Douglas pointed out the racial imbalance in an expose. Some comments agreed with Douglas while others (including some white supremacists) added in their opinions.

The Vanity Fair cover story includes such Caucasian actresses as Anna Kendrick, Kristen Stewart, Emma Stone and Carey Mulligan but leaves out new stars such as Freida Pinto, Gabourey Sibide of Precious and Zoe Saldana of Avatar. Although many of the women on the cover deserve to be there, the question begs as to why the only visual diversity in the spread is one red-headed actress? How did no one at the entire magazine think that this might be problematic?

Salon and Jezebel have their own debates going on about the issue (welcome more commenters), but we think that Kate Harding at Salon, made a good point when she said:

"Not thinking about realistic representation is incredibly easy for white people to do--and I absolutely include myself in that--but you know what helps? People pointing it out. People saying, hey, in America in 2010, putting nine white people on a cover meant to represent the future of our film industry is backward and unreasonable. You don't even need to go as far as "offensive," a word that sends some people into such a "Gah, the p.c. police are after me!" tailspin, it's hardly worth saying even when it's true. In this case, we can just go with "illogical" or "nonsensical" or "utterly divorced from reality." Like, what planet are you living on, where white people are the only ones worth mentioning?"

Via Salon, Vanity Fair & New York Times


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