Sunday, February 6, 2011

Is the Lack of Diversity Vanity Fair's Fault?

IN 2010, VANITY Fair magazine's Hollywood issue featured a bevy of white actresses on the cover (see below). And the magazine took hell from pundits across the country who complained that the magazine ignored a wealth of minority talent.

This year, the magazine ran a cover image featuring two African American actors among the 15 stars. People are still complaining (They are asking: "Are there no Hispanic or Asian actors or actresses worth featuring?").

Does a nationally distributed magazine have a responsibility to be diverse? Or should they profile whomever they feel is among the best rising talents?

Is it the magazine's fault if Hollywood is not promoting African-American or other minority actors?

13 comments:

Brydels said...

I can't imagine that we should blame the magazine. The bigger thing here is Hollywood. Is Hollywood diverse? I can think of a slew of black actors, but as far as other nationalities go, I'm not so sure.

Geo said...

If there are a slew of black actors, shouldn't they be represented on the cover of the mag?

- George
(the teacher who would love to see and Asian-American dude on the cover who isn't dressed like a ninja or some other Asian stereotype)

Aaron Stevens said...

I personally don't read vanity fair or care much about Holly Wood but I do have to say that cover from the 2010 vanity fair does seem reminiscent of a nazi youth propaganda poster. However I think it is their job to credit actor's of the highest caliber (are Jesse Eisenberg and Ryan Reynolds really that good?) whether they be white black, asain whatever. However there are plenty of great minority actors, halle berry, laurence fishburne, denzel washington, selma hayek, and my personal favorite asain sensation Ken Jeong. So I do have to think how much depth are they putting into it if their front page lacks some diversity

Marissa Jane said...

...And Hollywood IS diverse. The 2010 cover offers a specific clique of young, Hollywood white female actresses; some of which, in my opinion, are far less talented (Kristen Stewart, cough cough) than other young Hollywood stars that should have been featured. The fact that they're wearing monochromatic shades of beige doesn't help either.
As for the later cover of Vanity Fair, I suppose the magazine can't be blamed. Many of the Oscar contenders are represented, and the loudest sense of minority talent they failed to include was the over-35 crowd (Personally, I would like to see Colin Firth front and center!) After all, Mila Kunis is from Russia, though it's easy to categorize her as the majority.

Sarah D'Agostino said...

When a person picks up a magazine, they usually try to relate it to themselves. It's easy for me to say- as a white female- that it "isn't a big deal to have a bunch of white girls on the cover of a magazine, who cares?" That question can be answered simply: those who's races are constantly not featured on the covers of such influential media. Magazines should recognize all races in their covers- leaving all parties content, without any controversy.

Imani Abdus-Saboor said...

This is a specific case, where this cover of Vanity Fair just happened to feature a group of fair skinned white girls wearing all beige and neutral colors. Although, most of the covers of Vanity Fair display white females, I have seen dozens of magazine covers featuring women of different races. The magazine should not be blamed for the way the media views things. Oh, Vanity Fair has a cover of all white girls, therefore they must be somewhat prejudice. No, this just happens to be a specific issue. For this matter, is Jet or Ebony considered racist for not displaying other races besides African-Americans in their magazine?

Geo said...

Jet and Ebony are niche magazines intended to serve specific African-American audiences.

Vanity Fair is a general interest/ popular culture magazine serving a national audience.

- George
(the teacher who is not making any arguments, just clarifying the differences between these magazines)

Sarah Mariano said...

It would be nice to see people, other than whites, in this. I'm not saying I have anything personally against it, but I can name a few african and asian actresses who would look good in this magazine. But Hollywood has always favored whites. It's going to be years before Hollywood starts acting different.

billydelion75 said...

I don't think it is the mags fault but they are definately feeding into the problem instead of trying to push for a resolution. Vanity Fair is just one mere incidence of our countries amazing abitlity to promote "white is right". I've said it before, until our congress, senate, Vanity Fair magazine covers, correctly reflect the diversity that is OUR society we will be a nation divided. "We the people.." NOT "We the white people..."

Kelly Guinan said...

I think it all depends on the actors and actresses shown in the magazine. If they are, without question, a group of some of the most remarkable talents and they all happen to be white, then so be it. If people flip through and can't believe that these people are featured, if they aren't a reliable sampling of our generation's finest performers, then send in the hate mail for vanity fair for being discriminatory. However, the magazine can't control who the Oscar nominees are, they can only write stories about them and feature them on the cover. They're just doing the reporting and giving the people all the Oscar info they crave.

amaris talbert said...

I feel that its not really the fault of the magazine that there is not great promotion of actors of different races in Hollywood. Hollywood is known for promoting white actors, and throughout the history of the media, these are the celebrities that have been most focused on. The fact that all these actors are white is not as much the fault of the magazine as it is the fault of casting directors in Hollywood. However, I do feel that it is the fault of the magazine for not including diverse actors if the magazine has an interest in attracting those types of readers. If Vanity Fair hopes to have readers of all different races and backgrounds, they should include cover shots of actors who look like their viewers, or at least relate-able.In order to attract a diverse audience, Vanity Fair has to have a diverse look.

billydelion75 said...

I wish as many people paid attention to the diversity of our congress and senate as much as they do the cover of Vannity Fair. How do you think a picture of congress would look like? Something similar to the Vanity Fair cover? But thats just government... Let's make sure our magazine covers are diverse!!!

Anonymous said...

this shows just how generic hollywood is :) can't really blame the magazine, though it would be nice to see an asian, african american, or hispanic on that list...some of the girls on the vanity fair cover should not have been on there...and i say again, this is just typical generic hollywood...