Tina Knowles-Lawson calls out Anna Wintour following British Vogue’s historic September cover
Beyonce's mom says Vogue magazine needs to do more to ensure a diverse staff and viewpoint
Back in June, Vogue editor Anna Wintour admitted that her magazine employed “too few” Black employees. Now Beyoncé‘s mother Tina Knowles-Lawson is calling out the publication for still not doing enough to address their diversity problem.
Monday, the fashion-forward matriarch who’s become known for her candid social media posts, shared a photo of British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful on her Instagram.
“Kudos to this wonderful Man Mr. Edward Enningful !! Editor of “British Vogue“ for boldly putting our beautiful Activists on the cover !!!” she said of the Black magazine editor who chose to dedicate their September issue – which is widely considered the most important issue of the year – to 40 activists working to end racial inequality.
“When will American Vogue step up and hire more Black Photographers for cover shoots?” Knowles-Lawson asked rhetorically before signing off with, “We’re waiting…….”
Many took this post as a direct jab at Wintour, who in early June sent an email to Condé Nast staffers about the publication’s past transgressions and commitment to do better moving forward.
“I want to say this especially to the Black members of our team — I can only imagine what these days have been like,” she wrote, referencing the weeks of protests that have been ignited internationally following the death of George Floyd.
“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 continued. “We have made mistakes too, publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant. I take full responsibility for those mistakes.”
Despite her mea culpa, Vogue has yet to make a strong statement like the one unveiled by the magazine’s British branch, and it appears people are waiting to see if and when she makes good on her promise to do better.
Former Vogue editor-in-large Andrê Leon Talley also questioned Wintour’s blind spots around race in his memoir “The Chiffon Trenches.” In one anecdote he specifically recalled how she once dismissed his idea of including an African tribal photograph in a fashion spread for being too low-brow and then shut him down even further when he called her out on it.
It’s also worth noting that the only time that Vogue has intentionally highlighted Black talent both in front and behind the camera was Beyoncé’s historic Vogue cover in September 2018 — where she was given unprecedented editorial control — and hired Tyler Mitchell, making him the first African-American to photograph a cover for the magazine in its 128-year history.
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