Anna Wintour’s job is safe, despite Vogue employees’ deep unhappiness

Anna Wintour and Edward Enninful attend The Fashion Awards 2019 at The Royal Albert Hall. London, UK. 02/12/2019

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.”

[From Page Six]

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

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Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instagram.

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18 Responses to “Anna Wintour’s job is safe, despite Vogue employees’ deep unhappiness”

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  1. Aurora says:

    I think they should at the very least get an American editor in chief.

    I cancelled my subscription when a cover with Kim Kardashian appeared in my mailbox a few years ago. Between the Kardashians and all the nepotism models their covers and editorials have gone down hill.

    • Mumbles says:

      My dream choice, if she wanted it, is Robin Givhan, the best fashion reporter of any major paper (Washington Post, but she works out of NYC). She’s insightful and sharp.

      I gave up on Wintour’s Vogue when the magazine ran a glowing suckup piece on Assad’s wife.

  2. Ariel says:

    Translation: Vogue is giving lip service on diversity and don’t plan to change a single racist policy, decision, etc.
    But they had to make the statement.

  3. Sofia says:

    I think Anna enjoys the power of being Editor-in-Chief too much.

    • Seraphina says:

      This! That is why they should rotate people out once too much power is wielded. But by then it is too late. I stopped buying Vogue after Kim K was on the cover. Money apparently can help buy you a Vogue cover, so sad that Anna compromised her idealistic values 🤣

      • Sofia says:

        I honestly think even the Met Gala has been cheapened by the presence of the Kardashians. You had royalty, royalty-adjacent, high society people and genuine A+ list celebs who got there on talent (most of the time).

    • Hope says:

      I just rewatched The September Issue which is free on Youtube and the influence Anna has with designers and stores is vast. She is entrenched in fashion and it’s not just a case of replacing an EiC. The fashion industry or Conde Nast would have to really want Anna gone for her to lose her job. She would need a scandal that they would care about and let’s face it many of them do not care.

  4. BlueSky says:

    AW is determined to run that magazine into irrelevancy. Wanting to stay in your privileged bubble and refuse to accept that the world has changed.

    • Gina says:

      Why Condé Nast is allowing her to run that magazine into the ground is mind boggling.

  5. Nev says:

    I figure all the new Vogue covers will be black or POC this next covers month. Give me Naomi or Adut. Thanks.

  6. Mireille says:

    #VogueChallenge — a PR blitz campaign to show that “YES!” diversity matters to Vogue, so please feel free to post pics of yourself with the Vogue brand so they can get “hits” and “likes” and drive engagement onto their social media channels, thus promoting the magazine. Vogue will just use these photos to pay lip service to diversity and inclusion, wait for the protests to quietly diminish, and continue to showcase white female celebrities on their covers in the coming months.

  7. PineNut says:

    get rid of the stupid video ad that won’t shut off please! 🙂

  8. lizardqueen says:

    I feel like the only way to get rid of her is for other higher-ups to start refusing to work with her or the magazine-fashion houses, designers, talent agencies, big name models….put their money where their mouth is about supporting BLM and not work with Anna. I doubt that would happen though.

  9. Betsy says:

    Years ago I supported Wintour on the grounds that she was likeliest to be fired for being too old, and while I still hope for an older person at the helm, Anna Wintour’s racism, her consistently choosing the skinniest models (thereby driving the narrative that one can never be too thin), and the fact that her magazine is as fresh as month old cream means that I don’t buy the magazine much. There’s no oomph to it. I purchased the most recent edition, the quarantine issue, and it sucked.

    And I believe you are right that she’s been well aware of the lack of diversity since the 90s at least. She’s like a 1980s movie villain with her lack of understanding and evolution.

  10. Dragon Wise says:

    In addition to her clear and consistent racism, she’s a terrible person, period. She’s everyone’s nightmare boss, and I wouldn’t trust her to keep a plant alive, let alone be a change agent for CN.

  11. MaryContrary says:

    “Agent for change” wtf? She’s the person who has been setting this same tone for DECADES-why would she suddenly change? It’s nonsensical. Blech. I love Edward Enninful at British Vogue, and I’m very excited about the new Harpers Bazaar editor Samira Nasr (who is younger and a POC). Stop buying Vogue and start buying HB!

  12. Meg says:

    Was it vogue who had an employee take a picture of their office for an article and viewers noticed a fat shaming cartoon above her desk? I feel like that says a lot, bad behavior is normalized there, so you forget its bad then only once there’s a public outcry you speak out against it