Vogue head Anna Wintour cops to intolerant past in expose
Vogue powerhouse Anna Wintour is finally owning up to her intolerant past.
The 70-year-old copped to her wrongdoings in a New York Times exposé about the artistic director of Condé Nast and her handling of race at the media company.
“I strongly believe that the most important thing any of us can do in our work is to provide opportunities for those who may not have had access to them,” Wintour told The Gray Lady. “Undoubtedly, I have made mistakes along the way, and if any mistakes were made at Vogue under my watch, they are mine to own and remedy and I am committed to doing the work.”
But for many anonymous employees interviewed by The Times, the apology is too little too late: 11 people said the Brit, who has helmed the fashion magazine since 1988, “should no longer be in charge of Vogue and should give up her post as Condé Nast’s editorial leader.”
In one instance, Wintour allegedly asked Vogue reporters to not mention cultural appropriation when reporting on Kendall Jenner wearing grills to a party. “If Kendall wants to do something stupid fine but our writers (especially white ones) don’t need to weigh in and glorify it or ascribe reasons to it that read culturally insensitive,” Wintour reportedly wrote in an email. “I honestly don’t think that’s a big deal.”
During another controversial occurrence, Wintour used an offensive term when questioning the cultural appropriateness of a photoshoot featuring black women wearing headscarves. “Don’t mean to use an inappropriate word, but pica ninny came to mind,” Ms. Wintour allegedly wrote.
Two Vogue leaders close to Wintour were also accused of committing racist offenses. Vogue editor Phyllis Posnick, who styled a “yellowface” shoot featuring white model Karlie Kloss as a geisha, reportedly said “I knew this was going to happen. It’s all the Blacks’ fault. They didn’t vote,” after Trump won the election in 2016. After Rihanna showed up late to an event, Vogue higher-up Grace Coddington allegedly remarked, “Black people are late everywhere.” Both Posnick and Coddington denied the claims.
The article also detailed reports of tokenism, like inviting low-level Black employees to high-ranking meetings simply to demonstrate visible inclusion.
It comes after several months of race-related turmoil at Condé Nast, with much of the Bon Appétit staff quitting after it was revealed that many employees of color were not being paid equally to their white counterparts and that editor-in-chief Adam Rapport had worn brownface.
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