Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Vanity Fair Annual Hollywood Issue Makes History with Multi-Cultural (and Beautiful) Cover


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!



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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