Vanity Fair Hollywood issue raises questions

vanity_fair_coverVanity Fair’s March issue features rising stars Amanda Seyfried (Dear John), Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), Carey Mulligan (An Education), Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), along with established stars Kristen Stewart (Twilight) and Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler). Also included are Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Abbie Cornish (Bright Star) and Emma Stone (Zombieland). The anticipated “Hollywood Issue” was photographed by the talented Annie Leibovitz, but the issue has raised questions. Critics are wondering why not one of the nine actresses is a person of color. Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson blogged: “Where was Zoe Saldana, of ‘Avatar’ and ‘Star Trek?’ Or Gabourey Sidibe, the Oscar-nominated actress from ‘Precious?’ This year, we’re going to see our most diverse Oscars red carpet in years. We should see that respected on television and in our magazine covers.” Vanity Fair issued the following statement: “Deciding who will appear on the Hollywood Issue cover — and within the issue itself — is a long process, and one we take seriously. For the young actresses on the cover, both films coming out this year and past work were taken into consideration, as were schedules and availability, since we had to shoot all nine actresses in a single day.” ~Hilary Caton

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Comments & Discussion

  1. ch • February 10, 2010 @ 3:17 PM


  2. Chris • February 10, 2010 @ 3:58 PM

    Zoe should of been in it.

  3. Kevin • February 10, 2010 @ 7:43 PM

    I agree with chris. Zoe Saldana should be included. She has the best acting talent and its also the fact, I have never heard of any of these women.

  4. demigod • February 10, 2010 @ 7:47 PM

    Here we go again..looking for discrimination where there isn’t any. Put a lid on it already. To include G.Sibide in this pictorial, half these girls wouldn’t make the cut.

  5. lyla • February 10, 2010 @ 10:33 PM

    I don’t really see it as discriminatory, however Zoe should have been included, even though she’s been around a while she’s really come into her own this year, they should replace her with Rebecca Hall. They don’t really have a case for Gaby though, she’s only been in the one film and hollywood being what it is she likely won’t get too much more work

  6. Really? • February 11, 2010 @ 12:55 AM

    You are such a pricky son of a b@#ch Demigod. What is your problem?

  7. Dan • February 11, 2010 @ 2:40 AM

    why wasnt queen latifah on the cover?

  8. Christine • February 11, 2010 @ 3:40 PM

    Demigod, you are wrong. The absence of women of color on the cover is a valid observation. If ALL of the actors in Hollywood were white, it would not be valid. There are many actors that are up and coming (besides Zoe Saldana) who could have been included in the picture. I thought Gabourey should have been included. The comment about her size is a real low blow. Why can’t people come to terms with the fact that people come in all shades and sizes. What’s wrong with that?

  9. demigod • February 11, 2010 @ 4:36 PM

    Christine, get some perspective. Its ONE magazine cover. Excluding Zoe from this list is baffling. She’s a hottie latina. Maybe she couldn’t make the shoot.

  10. tributegirl • February 11, 2010 @ 6:07 PM

    I agree with demigod, it doesn’t look like discrimination to me, they said they had a schedule to keep so it was up to the ladies availability for that time.

  11. Thibz • February 12, 2010 @ 12:58 AM

    Why does this racial card always get played, like who sits their and thinks hmmm this is racist because there are no colored people or people of a different notionality featured. Without even a second guess or even some insight to the reasoning behind critics will just jump to the most stupid conslusion and blow it out of preportion.
    Pretty sad they cant come up something better to talk about.

  12. Lloyd • February 12, 2010 @ 4:35 AM

    I think it is a bit curious that the next “it girls” are all white. Not accusing Vanity of racism, but you would like to portray a diverse set of actresses, including ones of other races.

    Gabourey should have been included, regardless of whether or not she meets the shallow hollywood standard of beauty; she’s really good and hopefully has a bright future.

    I think it’s a little ignorant to just shake off the possibility that there was discrimination in the shoot. It’s not like discrimination and racism are rarities in our society, and impossible to come across on a daily basis…

  13. demigod • February 12, 2010 @ 5:40 AM

    Lloyd, how’s this as a possibility -they’re all coincidentally white. Keep digging/’ll see what you want to see. It’s people like you who keep racism alive by taking one picture and making it more than it is.
    Do you not see enough black actors/singers/performers in the entertainment industry, and gracing magazine covers? You want to look for discrimination? Pick up one of the dozens of black magazines available and show me a white person on the cover.
    And let’s all stop pretending it’s a ‘color’ issue. It’s a black and white issue. Always has been.

  14. tributegirl • February 12, 2010 @ 3:37 PM

    Exactly. You know what’s racist? BET

  15. Ha • February 13, 2010 @ 5:24 AM

    Thats like saying cmt is racist.

  16. Nancy • February 13, 2010 @ 1:06 PM

    Tributegirl: I agree about the ‘BET’. Ever watch the Grammy Awards and see a “white” singer on stage? Gets a normal applause, maybe a standing ovation here and there. Then a “black” singer on stage, camera pans out across the audience of stars and all you see are Jamie Fox, Beyonce, Jay-Z (and his entourage, LOL), etc., standing throughout the song, swaying from side to side, eyes not blinking, totally engrossed in it as though it is gospel! Does anyone come forward and raise awareness about that? No. Why? Because most people don’t really care but, when they want to nit pick, well then, let’s nit pick. Let’s pick from both sides here and play fair instead of it always being “whites” who are racist.

  17. Lloyd • February 13, 2010 @ 2:13 PM

    demigod: That definitely is a possibility. If you reread what I said, you would see that I said that it’s ignorant to disregard the possibility of discrimination. So if I’m digging, you keep living in your perfect bubble of racial harmony.

    Also, “people like me” aren’t who keep racism alive; racists are.

    And it is just a black/white issue, which is wrong in itself. You don’t see much exposure of Asian or South Asian actors in movies unless it’s a martial arts movie or Slumdog Millionaire. The fact that it’s only a black/white issue is a problem.

    BET is a TV channel devoted to a certain people group/culture, as well as those “black magazines” you’re talking about. Vanity Fair is SUPPOSED to be a popular culture/fashion magazine. That’s supposed to be a worldwide genre, yet there’s only one colour of people represented…

  18. Nancy • February 13, 2010 @ 3:15 PM

    I think it is stupid that people think EVERY movie, EVERY magazine, etc. cannot ONLY contain white people, that there has to be at least one African American in it or else it is considered racism. BUT, when it comes to things for African Americans, such as magazines and ‘BET’ and college funding only for blacks, well then, that’s okay because it’s “devoted to a certain group/culture”. What I am saying is, how come people with white skin are not allowed to have anything devoted to certain people in their group/culture without it being considered racism? Yes, I understand that Vanity Fair is for all, not just white people, I am speaking in general.

  19. demigod • February 13, 2010 @ 8:12 PM

    Pls’ll find BET and black mags have little ‘culture’ content. It’s all just about promoting their own.
    Do you see exclusive ‘white’ mags out there? No, we can’t print that. And do we not have a culture of our own? This is a double-standard, and racist.
    I actually don’t oppose the publication of black mags/media, IF whites are able to do the same, without the accusations. This is not a divisive stance, but an openminded one.
    Vanity Fair have profiled and written about many black celebs. You’re taking ONE photo and ‘suggesting’ it as racial. Seems pretty ‘ignorant’ to me.
    Btw, would you see other ethnic groups up in arms over this single photo? No.

  20. demigod • February 13, 2010 @ 8:18 PM

    Ha, with CMT..that’s different. Black people really really don’t like country music lol

  21. moondog • February 13, 2010 @ 8:36 PM

    for once i agree wit demigod with everything he said

  22. Lloyd • February 14, 2010 @ 3:32 AM

    demigod really? Promoting their own? It’s an URBAN cultural channel and plays related media. It’s not even exclusively for black people. Non-blacks like Eminem, Asher Roth, Pitbull etc who are a part of the culture are portrayed as well. Non-black people can watch it and be entertained. It’s VERY much like CMT so I don’t know what your comment about black people not liking country music has anything to do with anything.

    What do you mean by “white culture” exactly? I’ve seen very specific magazines and programs devoted to cultures i.e. French or Irish. And the CMT example was already brought up by Ha so I don’t really know what double-standard you’re referring to…

    I’m not suggesting the photo to signify the hidden racist agenda at Vanity Fair! I’m just saying that it’s ignorant to not think it a possibility that racism was involved. I don’t know what other way I can put that to make you understand it!

  23. gypsy • February 14, 2010 @ 9:08 AM

    This is just an observation of my own.I must admit I never purchased these mags,but I’ve always though Vanity Fair,Chatelaine and Readers Digest were so called white mags.I’ve also never bought,but have looked through some hard core bikers mags,which are definitely white mags,no person of colour in them!Totally geared toward their lifestyle,culture or whatever you want to call it!Now this may be off topic,but it probably comes under discrimination (I’m sure) I get really pi##ed-off when I have to pay my cable bill and at least 7 channels are French! No offence but I don’t speak it,understand it,or even watch it,nor do I personally care to.This doesn’t even include the music channels that are not English!It’s kinda like the Vanity Fair issue,the difference is I don’t have to purchase the magazine!!With the cable station’s I have no choice,but to pay for Non English programming,and I have no interest in the country music stations either!I have spoken to the cable providers on this issue,and was not surprised to learn there are many other people that have also complained about this matter!!I’d personally rather watch BET,at least I can understand what is being said,and I enjoy some of the movies!!OK thats my rant on the cable issue.Now I’ll get back to the photo on the Vanity Fair mag,the thing that irks me is, all the woman on them are stick figure’s not one HEALTHY looking woman in the bunch!!OK before anyone says’s I’M RACIST,let me just say, my best friend’s are French, born and raised in Montreal,and even they don’t watch the French stations and are PI$$ED THAT THEY HAVE TO PAY FOR THEM,even though they can watch and understand the programs!!!What I’m really trying to say is we are not born with this hatred,so why do we let it into our souls!
    I to am guilty!!

  24. kelly • February 14, 2010 @ 11:16 AM

    well – none of those girls have my haircut, so I think they’re speaking directly to me and telling me my hair isn’t cool enough. I can’t believe how personally persecuted I feel. Man!

  25. demigod • February 14, 2010 @ 4:50 PM

    That’s right Lloyd, promoting their own. URBAN means BLACK according to BET (Black Entertainment Television). Apparently they’re the only ethnic group living in urban areas.
    CMT doesn’t stand for ‘White Entertainment Television’.
    Point being, whites don’t label anything as ‘white’. Because that’s racism. But blacks can label things ‘black’? No double standard?

    Would it be ignorant to think black magazines don’t have a possible agenda either? If not, another double standard. And who says Vanity Fair is SUPPOSE to be more than what it is? You?

  26. Nancy • February 14, 2010 @ 9:11 PM

    I agree with Demigod. I’d also like to add that it is okay for African Americans to use the ‘N’ word to each other but, as soon as a “white” person says it, it’s RACISM. Yet, the terms “whitey”, “cracker”, etc., we just laugh at and don’t care. My kids never would have ever heard the ‘N’ word if they hadn’t been watching tv and heard a black person say it to another black person. As long as they keep using it, it will always be a racist word from others.

  27. sgt.pepper • February 15, 2010 @ 5:14 PM

    I simply don’t understand why everyone is getting their panties in a knot about this. Why is it so hard to believe that perhaps the people at Vanity Fair thought all of these actresses to be extremely talented and deserved the recognition of a Vanity Fair cover? Why does the issue of race have to come into play? Are we all just looking for arguments now? Is that how it’s gonna be now? If I’m walking downtown with my group of friends, who all happen to be white, are we going to be accused of being racist because we don’t have a black person with us? This is just so utterly ridiculous. Perhaps both Zoe Saldana and Gabourey Sidibe were contacted to participate for this cover, but because of the recent success of both Avatar and Precious the actresses had prior commitments. Is it too much to consider that? But that simply can’t be the answer, can it? The answer has to be that Vanity Fair is racist and only wanted white actresses to appear on the cover. Good lord, people. Open your minds just a tad. Stop looking for racism/discrimination wherever you feel like it.

  28. tributegirl • February 15, 2010 @ 7:36 PM

    Nancy, I hate hearing black people call white people “whitey” or “cracker”, makes me want to turn around and call them the “n” word. Michelle Obama used the term “whitey” while talking about Hilary Clinton, and I thought that was extremely low class of her.

  29. tributegirl • February 15, 2010 @ 7:39 PM

    sgt.pepper, I totally agree.

  30. Lloyd • February 18, 2010 @ 5:00 AM

    demigod, I agree that the name lends itself as a “one-race” network, but if you look at the CONTENT that’s not the case; it’s just urban. You’re making a huge deal about the NAME, but I do agree it’s a bad name and that they should change it to make it more universal.

    Again, not talking about the name, I’m talking about the content. CMT is all supposedly “white” media. That’s ok, so apparently your only issue is that BET uses the term “black” in their name which I already said was wrong.

    Black magazines may have their own racist agenda, I don’t know. But we’re talking about VF, and if they’re marketing themselves as a POPULAR CULTURE magazine, they’re SUPPOSED to be a popular culture magazine. That means it’s supposedly for everyone; not just one group of people.

    And I think it’s stupid for there to be the argument that one side is racist, so the other side needs to be equally racist to counter-act that. That’s basically what the, “black people do it, why can’t whites?” thing is. Racism is racism. It’s wrong coming from WHATEVER people group. It’s just a touchy subject when it comes from white people because of history, but any kind of racism is bad.

    Ideally there wouldn’t be any racism out there, however we don’t live in ideals. We live in a real world. A world that was predominantly run by white people for a very long time. The balance of power hasn’t been righted yet. A lot of progress has been made, but there’s still a long ways to go before everyone can be fully equal.

    Until that time comes, inequality and racial prejudice still exists.

    That being said Sgt. Pepper, obviously a magazine cover with the bold title, “A New Decade, A New Hollywood!” would catch some attention if this “new decade” that is featured was just focused on one race.

    Again, I’m not accusing VF of racism. I’m just saying that it’s understandable that it would raise a few eyebrows, and there’s no way to determine that there was no racism involved, because that is certainly a possibility. No doubt all the actresses there are talented and deserve to be there, but it would have been better if they showcased a more diverse group.

    Nancy and tributegirl, I don’t agree with any of those racial slurs. It’s not okay for anyone to use them. However, just because some ignorant people use them, doesn’t mean that it’s okay. And definitely reverting to racism as a defense to racism just makes a circle of racism, which just makes everything worse. You can be civil, even in the face of racism.

    Wow that was a lot. Sorry!

  31. demigod • February 19, 2010 @ 12:21 AM

    You want to talk about CONTENT on BET? All black-hosted shows..Wendy Williams, Michael Vick, Jamie Foxx, Mo’Nique, Bobby Jones..and all-black shows, Sunday Best, The Deal, The Game, Everybody Hates Chris, I Hear White People(?)
    Yea, great representation of white and ethnic diversity on that channel..

    BET’s demographics are young African Americans,but I know there’s spill-over.
    VF’s demographics are farther-reaching.

  32. tributegirl • February 19, 2010 @ 5:23 PM

    “I Hear White People”?????? Are you f-ing serious?????

  33. demigod • February 19, 2010 @ 11:26 PM

    I couldn’t make this sh!t up. So blatantly racist. Imagine if that title was directed at black people. We’d have a riot on the streets.

  34. demigod • February 19, 2010 @ 11:29 PM

    I couldnt make this stuff up. So blatantly racist. Imagine if that show had the ‘black’ title. Wed have a riot on the streets.

  35. tributegirl • February 20, 2010 @ 10:16 AM

    Exactly, if it had the black title, white people would be afraid to leave their houses. It is quite the double standard, and I find it very offensive. There will never be balance.

  36. Lloyd • February 21, 2010 @ 8:56 PM

    Yea demigod…ignore every other comment I made and just pick at the weakest one…great job.

    And I checked the BET website…I didn’t see a show called “I Hear White People”.

    Again I never said that there was ethnic diversity on the channel. I just said it was targeted to an urban culture which is, realistically, mostly Africans Americans. It’s like CMT targeting a country culture, which is mostly Caucasians.

    And I know VF’s demographic is further reaching. That’s exactly why they should be showing a diverse group rather than just one race.

    Would love to hear you refute the other points I previously made though.

  37. REALITY HURTS • February 26, 2010 @ 11:06 PM

    I wish everyone will relize “It is what it is” BET is a channel you pay for so is CMT. So if you don’t like whats on the tv change the damn channel. I am laughing @ the person Thibz used the word COLORED to describe black people.That alone screams racism but onto Demigod you have issues and you sound STUPID.What EVERYONE needs to realize is that Hollywood isn’t just for whites or blacks, latino’s, or asian’s. So for the ones who are trying to makes excuses you really need to focus on the fact that there will always be RACISM. If you don’t like what you see and hear then do what’s best change the channel or close the cover and get over it. “It Is What It Is”

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