Is ‘Vogue’ cover racist?

Published March 26, 2008 in the Midland (MI) Daily News

Beth Medley Bellor

    Vogue magazine showed up in my mailbox yesterday, courtesy of the subscription my teenage daughter got for her birthday. Vogue cover featuring Lebron James and Gisele Bundchen Granted James is far larger than a 16, but the subhead said models and athletes were being featured, and he looked like the athlete he is.

    Apparently everyone doesn’t think so. Shortly after I started hearing about how the scowling black man holding the tiny white blonde made people think of King Kong, and how racist Vogue was. Some quotes, courtesy of The Associated Press:

    • Vogue spokesman Patrick O’Connell said the magazine “sought to celebrate two superstars at the top of their game.”

    • Magazine analyst Samir Husni called the photo deliberately provocative, adding that it “screams King Kong.” Covers are not something that the magazine does in a rush, he said. “So when you have a cover that reminds people of King Kong and brings those stereotypes to the front, black man wanting white woman, it’s not innocent.”

    • Lebron James told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer he was pleased with the cover, saying he was “just showing a little emotion.

    “Everything my name is on is going to be criticized in a good way or bad way,” James told the paper. “Who cares what anyone says?”

    Here’s the cover. Do you find it racist? Or are some people hypersensitive?

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