Vanity Fair's Hollywood Issue Shoves People Of Color To The Side (As Usual)


The cover of the 2011 Hollywood Issue of Vanity Fair was shot in Los Angeles and New York over the course of two days by photographer Norman Jean Roy. It features fifteen actors. One of whom is black.

Ok, there’s Rashida Jones, too. She counts. Fair enough. But as far as skin tones go, Anthony Mackie is the only hat-tip to diversity.

As you may recall, exactly one year ago, Vanity Fair printed a “Young Hollywood” issue, with a group of thin, pretty, exclusively white women on the cover.

As before, when it comes to under-representing minorities, it’s tough to say whether Vanity Fair is to blame — or Hollywood and the film industry itself.

After all, this may be the whitest Oscars in 10 years, even if Mo’Nique was on hand to do the announcement of the nominations. It would be wonderful to hear and see more diversity in the movies; stories told from African-American, Asian-American, Latino, and Native American perspectives. There’s absolutely no doubt that the filmmakers are out there — the Urbanworld Film Festival, the Asian American International Film Festival, the New York Latino International Film Festival and the American Indian Film Festival celebrate these movies. The recession could be to blame; when money is tight, Hollywood tends to greenlight tried and true instead of fresh and original. With remakes and “safe” movies featuring known stars, a studio can be pretty sure to turn a profit. Of course, the flood of remakes and predictable flicks are what keep a lot of us from actually going to the movies.

But back to Vanity Fair: Please note that while Anthony Mackie and Rashida Jones are included in the photoshoot, neither are on the front panel — the cover seen on newsstands. We’ve seen black people included but pushed to the side over and over, year after year on VF. Points for consistency?

PS: Poor Robert Duvall, living legend, looks like he was plopped in as an afterthought.

Cover Preview: The 2011 Hollywood Issue [Vanity Fair]

Earlier: Young Hollywood Is White, Thin
Retrospective Look At Annie Leibovitz Vanity Fair Covers

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