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03-26-08, 10:35 AM #1
LeBron James' Vogue Cover Called Racially Insensitive
LeBron James' 'Vogue' cover called racially insensitive
NEW YORK (AP) — When Vogue announced its April cover starring LeBron James and Gisele Bundchen, the magazine noted with some fanfare that James was the first black man to grace its cover.
But the image is stirring up controversy, with some commentators decrying the photo as perpetuating racial stereotypes. James strikes what some see as a gorilla-like pose, baring his teeth, with one hand dribbling a ball and the other around Bundchen's tiny waist.
It's an image some have likened to King Kong and Fay Wray.
"It conjures up this idea of a dangerous black man," said Tamara Walker, 29, of Philadelphia.
Photographer Annie Leibovitz shot the 6-foot-9 NBA star and the 5-foot-11 Brazilian model for the cover and an inside spread. Vogue spokesman Patrick O'Connell said the magazine "sought to celebrate two superstars at the top of their game" for the magazine's annual issue devoted to size and shape.
"We think Lebron James and Gisele Bundchen look beautiful together and we are honored to have them on the cover," he said.
James told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer he was pleased with the cover, saying he was "just showing a little emotion."
"Everything my name is on is going to be criticized in a good way or bad way," James told the paper. "Who cares what anyone says?"
But magazine analyst Samir Husni believes the photo was deliberately provocative, adding that it "screams King Kong." Considering Vogue's influential history, he said, covers are not something that the magazine does in a rush.
"So when you have a cover that reminds people of King Kong and brings those stereotypes to the front, black man wanting white woman, it's not innocent," he said.
O'Connell, the Vogue spokesman, declined further comment.
In a column at ESPN.com, Jemele Hill called the cover "memorable for all the wrong reasons." But she said in an interview that the image is not unusual — white athletes are generally portrayed smiling or laughing, while black sports figures are given a "beastly sort of vibe."
Does anyone find this cover offensive? The racial overtones would never have crossed my mind until I heard this on the Today show this morning, I don't find it offensive at all.
03-26-08, 10:44 AM #2
honestly, I think it's an awesome pose... and if LeBron had a problem with it, i'm sure he'd say something (or his agent or whomever)... but apparently he didn't mind...-=Twan007
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03-26-08, 11:12 AM #3Oppressor of Crackheads
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I wouldn't mind posing with my hand around her waist either...
03-26-08, 11:20 AM #4
I suppose some of these people would be happier to see them sitting down in formal clothes watching an opera or having tea.\\` ` ` ` < ` )___/\
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03-26-08, 11:34 AM #5
LeBron doesn't have a problem with the cover, yet all these media types think that he should have a problem. Liberal media peternalism at it finest. I would be pissed, if I were LeBron, that the media its telling me what my opinion of my magizine cover should be. In other words, they are saying that LeBron is not smart enough to know that the cover is racially innnnnseeeennnnnnsatvie. Come here little exploited minority. Let us tell you what you should be upset about. We will protect you since you don't have the understanding to comprehend that you are being exploited. Good grief.
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03-26-08, 11:35 AM #6--
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03-26-08, 11:36 AM #7
03-26-08, 12:29 PM #8Rookie
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People will always see what they're looking for. Pointing at it and screaming about it just makes them look like idiots.
BTW, I didn't see James on the cover. Something else must have been distracting me.
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