Thursday, January 21, 2021

Anna Wintour Admits Vogue Failed to ‘Elevate and Give Space to Black Creators’

anna wintour

*Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour has apologized for not doing enough to “elevate” Black voices and staffers.

Wintour acknowledged in an internal email to her team on Thursday that she has made many “mistakes” in her 32-year tenure, including publishing images and stories that have been “hurtful or intolerant.”

“I take full responsibility for those mistakes,” she wrote, Page Six reports. 

“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,” she wrote. “We have made mistakes too, publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant. I take full responsibility for those mistakes.”

Wintour then vowed to do better going forward. 

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“It can’t be easy to be a Black employee at Vogue, and there are too few of you. I know that it is not enough to say we will do better, but we will — and please know that I value your voices and responses as we move forward,” she said. “I am listening and would like to hear your feedback and your advice if you would like to share either … I am proud of the content we have published on our site over these past few days but I also know that there is much more work to do. Please don’t 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.”

Wintour’s mea culpa comes amid a shake up in the publishing industry, as race-related controversies have forced CEOs to step down, including New York Times‘ Opinion Editor James Bennet, Refinery29 editor in chief Christene Barberich, and Bon Appetit editor in chief Adam Rapoport, who announced his departure after an old photo of him in brownface resurfaced, per Complex. 

Wintour, who is also Conde Nast’s artistic director and global content adviser, didn’t specify what steps will be taken to rectify Vogue’s diversity issue. She pledged, “On a corporate level, work is being done to support organizations in a real way. These actions will be announced as soon as possible.”

“Meanwhile, 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,” she wrote. 

Wintour also noted that her staff includes “too few” black employees.

“I know that it is not enough to say we will do better, but we will — and please know that I value your voices and responses as we move forward.”

Meanwhile, André Leon Talley, former editor-at-large of Vogue, slammed his former boss in his memoir, “The Chiffon Trenches,” in which the highlights disturbing examples of Wintour intolerance. 

“My hope is that she will find a way to apologize before I die, or if I linger on incapacitated before I pass, she will show up at my bedside, with an extended hand clasped into mine and say: ‘I love you. You have no idea how much you have meant to me,” he wrote.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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