Wednesday, April 17, 2024

How to Get Rid of Anna Wintour? Send the New York Times to Do a Hit Piece on Fashion Editor’s Stand on Race


It’s not easy getting rid of Anna Wintour at Vogue. Like a South American dictator, she’s not going to leave on her own. Falling circulation and ad sales aren’t even doing the trick. So the New York Times has sent an assassin in the form of reporter Edmund Lee, who’s published a lengthy take out piece called “The White Issue: Has Anna Wintour’s Diversity Push Come Too Late?”

Adding insult to injury, the Times has illustrated the article with a terrible picture of Wintour without her trademark sunglasses, eye looking tired and puffy, her face in distress. The stage is set. The assassin’s gun is loaded. And then it’s just bullet after bullet.

Lee writes (they capitalize the word black, which I think is wrong): “Black journalists who have worked with Ms. Wintour, speaking on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution, said they had not gotten over their experiences at a magazine whose workplace mirrored its exclusive pages…Under Ms. Wintour, 18 people said, Vogue welcomed a certain type of employee — someone who is thin and white, typically from a wealthy family and educated at elite schools. Of the 18, 11 people said that, in their view, Ms. Wintour should no longer be in charge of Vogue and should give up her post as Condé Nast’s editorial leader.”

Got that? Eleven people said Anna should be out.

Wintour responded to all the criticism– only Naomi Campbell supported her– with a statement: “I strongly believe that the most important thing any of us can do in our work is to provide opportunities for those who may not have had access to them. Undoubtedly, I have made mistakes along the way, and if any mistakes were made at Vogue under my watch, they are mine to own and remedy and I am committed to doing the work.”

As Lee sets about dissecting all of the photos of black people in Vogue as racist in one way or another, he notes this: Anna Wintour, who is lily white, is head of Conde Nast’s diversity and inclusion council, was “conspicuously absent” from a company meeting on race in June.

A couple of other notes: there’s a supportive quote from Radhika Jones, who’s wrecked Vanity Fair at Anna’s instruction. And of course, there’s a chime in from Andre Leon Talley, who’s made the take down of Wintour his main job since she unceremoniously ousted him and left him high and dry. Talley says:

The party is almost over.

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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