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Racism: Vogue Editor-in-Chief’s admission

The Editor-in-Chief of the elite fashion magazine recently apologized for past ‘hurtful and intolerant’ stories. 


ANNA WINTOUR – Editor-in-Chief of the international renowned Vogue Magazine for the past thirty years – has admitted to its racist practices.

Following a social media outrage about Vogue’s treatment of black models, stylists, writers and employees, Wintour conceded that practices at Vogue were hurtful. She said Vogue had not done enough to promote black faces in the fashion industry or promote black staff within the magazine.

The admission was part of an internal memo sent by US Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief last week, as seen by the New York Post, after Editor-in-Chief Adam Rapoport resigned from his position at Bon Appetit Magazine after a photo of him in brownface surfaced. Rapoport’s resignation and Wintour’s letter have been compounding the racially-based controversy over Conde Nast’s treatment and representation of black people came under fire in the recent weeks following the protests that erupted across the United States. 

Andre Leon Talley and Anna Wintour at New York Fashion Week. Photo: Vogue

Wintour wrote: “I want to say plainly that I know Vogue has not found enough ways to elevate and give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers and other creators. We have made mistakes too, publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant. I take full responsibility for those mistakes”. 

“I am proud of the content that we have published on our site over these past few days but also I know that there is much more work to do. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with me directly. I am arranging ways we can discuss these issues together candidly, but in the meantime, I welcome your thoughts or reactions”. 

The letter from the Editor-in-Chief follows the large scale appraisal of media organisations in the US and across the globe who have joined the #BlackLivesMatter protests prompted by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis after a police officer arrested and pinned him to the ground with his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds. 

The letter was met with scorn by former colleague and ally André Leon Talley, who shared his thoughts on Wintour’s email in a podcast interview.

“[Wintour’s] statement came out of the space of white privilege,” Talley said. “I want to say one thing: Dame Anna Wintour is a colonial broad, she’s a colonial dame, she comes from British, she’s part of an environment of colonialism. She is entitled and I do not think she will ever let anything get in the way of her white privilege.”

By The African Mirror