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Vanity Fair's March Cover: What Would Richard Pryor Say?

5 years ago
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Did Vanity Fair editors think about Richard Pryor when they planned their March cover? The late comedian once observed that the sci-fi film, "Logan's Run," was loaded with cultural subtext because blacks weren't in it. The futuristic world of the 23rd century was depicted as for whites-only, and Pryor, wielding the n-word like a knife, said:
They had a movie of the future called "Logan's Run." There ain't no n-- in it.
I said, "Well, white folks ain't planning for us to be here . . ."
If Pryor were still alive, what would trigger his mockery? Vanity Fair's February cover featuring former golden boy Tiger Woods defrocked into a shirtless hoodlum? Or maybe the mag's March cover where darker-skinned women apparently aren't up-and-coming stars in the "new Hollywood." Vanity Fair lauds "Twilight's" Kristen Stewart, "The Wrestler's" Evan Rachel Wood, "Bright Star's" Abbie Cornish, "Dear John's" Amanda Seyfried, "Alice in Wonderland's" Mia Wasikowska, "Zombieland's" Emma Stone, "An Education's" Carey Mulligan, "Frost/Nixon's" Rebecca Hall, and "Up in the Air's" Anna Kendrick as the "dolls" to watch.

Does the Vanity Fair cover reflect a fresh Hollywood or an old one, air-brushed for 21st century tastes? Or is it fair to single out this cover?

A multi-dimensional conversation is on the "Entertainment Weekly" site. A sampling of the comments:

They could have include some women of color.


Zoe was in the 2008 Hollywood issue, but it would've been nice to see her on the cover since she's been so big this year. Star Trek AND Avatar and she's not even mentioned.


Saldana would be nice (or, for that matter, Gabourey Sidibe.)


Women of color? What is this, 1920?


Actually whatevs, WOC is the correct term. Maybe you should go dig around on some social activism blogs and you'll see it everywhere, trust me.


Really! I love that this comes out in February, too. We just took a step back Hollywood!


I knew someone was gonna make it political. Get a life.


You guys are great. I was so sad when I saw this article. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who had similar thoughts. I just couldn't get pass the sameness of the spread. I like all these actresses but couldn't they find at least one other woman with a darker shade or a size 6?



While I agree that there are plenty of talented women of color who belong on that cover, as an extremely pale girl I'm glad to see the make-up artists didn't drown them in spray tan.

How does America (and that includes Hollywood) see itself? It's complicated . . .

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Filed Under: Race Issues, Woman Up, Culture
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