The new annual Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair is out. I haven’t seen the issue yet, but the cover should win a prize. Seven of the eleven featured actors are not white. This is a first. In the past, Vanity Fair kind of hid the black actors on the inside flap, and there were never more than two.
Not so anymore. “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman is front and center on the opening scene, with Timothee Chalamet and Saoirse Ronan.
The next grouping is Regina King (how much do we love her?), Rami Malek, the amazing Yalitza Aparicio from “Roma,” and Nicholas Hoult.
Part three is John David Washington, Henry Golding (from “Crazy Rich Asians”), Tessa Thompson, and Elizabeth Debicki.
VF editor Radhika Jones says in her editor’s letter: “Now more than ever, we in the theaters can see ourselves in the people up there on the screen.” You betcha. And it’s about time. Boseman adds: “The actors who are within the pages of this issue give new breath to what Hollywood is and what Hollywood is going to be.”
The photo was taken by Oscar winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, whose friends call him “Chivo.” Aside from the Michael B. Jordan cover, this is my favorite of Jones’s covers so far. It’s rich looking and evocative. There’s also a cool video to go with it.
The world of magazine covers is changing, it must. Back in 1990 when I wanted to put Whitney Houston of the cover of our magazine, Fame, the publisher, Steven Greenberg, didn’t want to do it. “She’s black! Blacks don’t sell!” he seethed at us. This was the feeling everywhere. It was racist and of course wrong. Whitney went on the cover “over his dead body” and sold great. Everyone loved it. To her credit, Anna Wintour has always featured multi-cultural actresses, models and singers on the cover of Vogue. It can be done. Kudos to Vanity Fair!