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Vanity Fair’s Hollywood Issue Is a Perfect Picture of What’s Wrong with Hollywood

Image: Vanity Fair

Image: Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair has released the cover for its annual Hollywood issue, and much like the Oscars, the cover is overwhelmingly white.

Let’s just say we’re not surprised. The Oscars has spurred a lot of outrage — Selma, the Ava DuVernay directed film about Martin Luther King Jr. leading the protests during the Civil Rights Movement in the Alabama town, was nominated for best picture and best original song. That’s all well and good, but the movie got no nominations in any other categories, like best actor or best director, making this Oscars the least diverse since 1998. So, it’s not a huge shock to see Vanity Fair‘s latest cover reflects that fact.

On the cover, we have Foxcatcher‘s Channing Tatum and Sienna Miller (also starring in American Sniper), Amy Adams (who won a Golden Globe for her role in Big Eyes), Reese Witherspoon (nominated for best actress in Wild), Benedict Cumberbatch (nominated for best actor in The Imitation Game) Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones (nominated for best actor and actress respectively in The Theory of Everything), Miles Teller (from Whiplash), Oscar Isaac (star of A Most Violent Year, which won best picture at the National Board of Review) and David Oyelowo (Selma). 

There weren’t that many nominees of color included in the Oscar nods this year, but we still have to wonder why, with the exception of Mr. Oyelowo, Vanity Fair decided to go with an such a white cast.

Vanity Fair had the opportunity to make a statement on this year’s controversial award ceremony. Instead, it’s reflecting just how white the Oscars and Hollywood at large are. Was there no room for someone like Selma‘s Carmen Ejogo or the buzzy Tessa Thompson on this cover? Yes, Channing was in Foxcatcher, but he wasn’t nominated. Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo were the ones actually nominated for best actor/best supporting actor in those roles. If Vanity Fair is cool with using any ol’ actor from a critically acclaimed film, there’s no reason why this cover couldn’t be more diverse.

We don’t expect Vanity Fair to be a bastion for diversity, but it seems as if the magazine missed a chance to really change or address the narrative of this year’s Oscars — and the publication opted out. We’re not surprised, just a little disappointed. Last year, the magazine’s Hollywood issue featured six actors and actresses of color. Perhaps the magazine’s powers that be thought that gave them a pass for the next six years? 

This is the first time since 2007 that Vanity Fair‘s Hollywood cover has only included one actor of color. Back then, Chris Rock was the lone black actor on the cover. We guess in 2015, it’s David Oyelowo’s turn to pick up the banner.

[via Vanity Fair]