Thursday, March 27, 2008

Racism at Vogue cover?

The new Vogue magazine cover featuring basketball star LeBron James and the Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen. There are several in the media who are now saying the cover is racist and is a take on the ‘racist’ image of King Kong holding damsel Ann Darrow in distress.

ESPN writer Jemele Hill was one of the first to mention this in her article, “LeBron Should Be More Careful with His Image”.

NBA star LeBron James has dismissed criticism that his recent Vogue cover reeked of "Me Tarzan, you Gisele Bundchen."

Some academics, analysts and bloggers say that James' bared teeth and hulking pose, one arm slung around Bundchen's waist, reinforces the stereotypes of black athletes as savage animals. And such images "reinforce the criminalization of black men," a University of Maryland kinesiology professor tells the Associated Press.

But James says he was pleased with the Annie Leibovitz-shot cover, the first in Vogue to feature an African-American man. "It wasn't a situation we're being rough or looking mean," James tells the Plain-Dealer in Cleveland. "Just showing a little emotion. We had a few looks, and that was the best one we had ... Everything my name is on is going to be criticized in a good way or bad way. Who cares what anyone says?"

The April issue is dedicated to size and shape, says Vogue spokesman Patrick O'Connell. "We think LeBron James and Gisele Bundchen look beautiful together, and we are honored to have them on the cover."

What you think? The cover is racist? By the way, have you suffer racism on SL? If you did, leave your comments please.

1 comment:

Wildstar said...

Maybe the racism is in the eye of those who want to see it ...
My first thought, looking at the picture, did not go to King Kong, but rather was that the two represent the stereotype of a powerful athlete and of a beautiful girl. Maybe the racism is in how those stereotypes have coded the male and female roles rather than the black and white issue.
There is surely room for a lot of discussion.

I know that racism in SL exists. I do not have direct experience but I know that furries, for instance, are discriminated and even griefed in many places and I know that even AVs expressing themselves as fairies or mermaids have had problems.