As we discussed last week, Anna Wintour sent an internal email to Vogue staffers apologizing for the lack of diversity/inclusion within the Vogue staff and the lack of inclusion on and in the magazine. Wintour has been well aware of her lack of inclusion for years – since the ‘90s (I feel like), she’s been criticized for the lack of Vogue covers for women of color, and the lack of diversity behind the camera and in Vogue’s offices. She always thought she could throw us the occasional Lupita or Rihanna cover and that would be enough. It was not enough. And the internal email apology was not enough either. Apparently, Vogue/Conde Nast staff are not happy about any of this and they do not believe Wintour is the editor-in-chief to lead Vogue through this global racism crisis. But Conde Nast’s CEO says Wintour’s job is safe. Huh.
Anna Wintour will not be ousted amid Condé Nast’s ongoing diversity scandal, execs confirmed Friday. The under-fire publisher is standing firmly behind the embattled longtime Vogue editor — its most famous employee — following her admission of “hurtful and intolerant behavior” at the fashion bible. As Page Six first reported this week, Wintour acknowledged in a note to staff that “it can’t be easy to be a Black employee at Vogue,” saying that it had not “found enough ways to elevate and give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers and other creators.”
We’re told that Wintour called a meeting Friday after recognizing how upset employees were, during which she talked about making “actionable changes.” This was followed by a tense town hall meeting with Condé CEO Roger Lynch, which Wintour apparently did not join. During the all-staff meeting with Lynch, employees immediately asked questions about Wintour’s status at the company, where she is chief creative director. Asked if she was going to be ousted following days of intense media speculation, Lynch said: “There is no truth to that,” Page Six is told.
A source said: “The first thing they addressed was Anna’s possible departure. Dannielle Carrig from comms called the reports of her departure a ‘strategic distraction.’ But someone else said, ‘This is what everyone is asking and wanting to know – Why isn’t Anna leaving? Do you endorse her behavior? It’s not just one statement. It’s the way she lives and has always led this organization. A movie was made about her behavior and it was applauded, she did not learn, she has not changed. I find it insulting that you are saying she has learned and changed her behavior’.”
Plus, when asked about Wintour’s controversial role on a company diversity committee, Lynch doubled down and said she would also remain part of that group.
“I think she can be an incredibly positive force for change. Like I said earlier: Many of us can look back at our history and think of things we should’ve done differently,” he said. “The real question is: Are you in a position to contribute and make change now? I think there are very few people in the world who can have the influence to change the culture … than Anna,” he said.
Lynch said: “Every single one of us on this call has said something that you’re ashamed of. The real question is: Have you learned from them? Have you taken ownership from it? And clearly: How serious was it?” Lynch added Condé would scrutinize its internal company makeup by “accelerating our first ever diversity and inclusion report to be published later this summer.”
Lynch really was like “who amongst us hasn’t actively refused to prioritize inclusivity for decades” right? There’s part of me that genuinely feels like someone whose job is threatened, someone who has come to Jesus and figured out how wrong they are, that person is a better “ally” than someone who has never been *caught* doing something awful. You know what I mean? When someone screws up really badly, it can become the best impetus to make meaningful change. The problem with applying that Anna Wintour specifically is that it’s not like she was caught doing ONE racist thing. It’s a pattern and practice of racism. She’s refused to make changes for years even when she was well aware of the problem. So, no, I don’t think Anna is the person to lead Vogue through this.
PS… People of color have been doing the #VogueChallenge, which was not started by Vogue, but has now been co-opted by Vogue. They’ve been Photoshopping images of themselves unto makeshift Vogue covers and honestly, it makes me cry to see what could have been so much inclusivity on the covers of Vogue all this time. Incidentally, Vogue’s current IG feed is suddenly *very* inclusive over the past few weeks. Hm.
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In the #VogueChallenge taking over your social media feeds, creatives are claiming their moment. While this isn’t the first time people have taken it upon themselves to create their versions of existing magazines, it is fitting that this specific version of the challenge began with a tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement. At the link in our bio, Vogue interviewed four photographers who took part in the challenge, including Oslo-based student Salma Noor (@itssalmanoor), pictured above, who first posted a black-and-white shot of herself by photographer Angèlique @Culvin with the Vogue logo and a headline reading, “being Black is not a crime.” “I am a Black, young Muslim woman who wanted to create something new while speaking on something that is very important,” said Noor. “I chose Vogue because it’s the standard one strives to reach, and it is one of my favorite magazines.” Though she never imagined that the idea would become a worldwide trending topic, Noor is pleased to see a diverse set of creatives in the spotlight. Tap the link in our bio to read and see more. Above: 1) @itssalmanoor photographed by @Culvin 2) @siphokaziveti photographed by @everydaypeoplestories 3) @m.u.hudi photographed by @tuvawolf 4) @bloodyazeez photographed by @lawrenceagyei 5) @jazz.janaee photographed by @beacasso 6) @na0__ 7) @nifahrm photographed by @la_xre 8) @bloodyazeez & @leidominique photographed by @lawrenceagyei 9) @abihailmyrie photographed by @waderhoden
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instagram.