Edward Enninful was racially profiled by a security guard at British Vogue’s office

Edward Enninful at arrivals for 22nd Ann...

Edward Enninful has been the editor in chief of British Vogue since 2017. He has spearheaded a more inclusive look at British fashion, and the Sussex Squad knows him best for his part in getting the Duchess of Sussex to act as guest editor for the magazine last year. He’s the first Black EIC of British Vogue, and he’s used his pulpit to speak about race and racism in fashion and publishing. But to a security guard at British Vogue’s headquarters in London, Edward was just a black guy who should only use the loading dock as an entrance. A security guard truly believed that British Vogue’s main entrance was “whites only.”

The editor of British Vogue has said he was racially profiled after being told to “use the loading bay” by a security guard as he entered the magazine’s offices. Edward Enninful, who is black, has been the fashion magazine’s editor-in-chief since 2017. He said the incident took place as he walked into his offices on Wednesday.

“Today, I was racially profiled by a security guard whilst entering my work place. I was instructed to use the loading bay. Just because our timelines and weekends are returning to normal, we cannot let the world return to how it was. Change needs to happen now.”

Enninful, who was awarded an OBE in 2016 for his services to diversity in the fashion industry, said Conde Nast, which owns British Vogue, “moved quickly” to dismiss the security guard following the incident. In an Instagram post to his one million followers, he said: “It just goes to show that sometimes it doesn’t matter what you’ve achieved in the course of your life: the first thing that some people will judge you on is the colour of your skin.”

[From The Guardian]

That was awkwardly worded by the Guardian, so just to be clear: Conde Nast, not Enninful, immediately moved to fire the security guard. The company, not Enninful, went to the third-party security contractor and had the guard fired from the site and “placed under investigation by their employer.” But I’m sure all of those white journalists in the UK will just say it was a simple misunderstanding and it wasn’t about race or racism at all, it’s only dumb Americans who make everything about race, right??

Because I’m slightly masochistic, I did look at Enninful’s tweet and some of the reactions to it – there are really people calling Enninful a “dick” because “he got the security guard fired” and now the guy doesn’t have a job, boo hoo. Maybe stop blaming victims of racism for the failures of racists, huh?

Arrivals and departures at attending the Vogue and Tiffany & Co Fashion and Film Party at Annabel’s - London

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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32 Responses to “Edward Enninful was racially profiled by a security guard at British Vogue’s office”

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  1. Alexandria says:

    Times are tough and you do this shit. The guard deserves it. Give his position to another person waiting to catch a break.

    • Eleonor says:

      This.
      And someone who works at vogue headquarters and doesn’t know who the editor in chief is?
      Seriously.

      • Yup, Me says:

        He was a security guard and a dude. It’s not surprising he doesn’t know who the EIC is. But you don’t need to know the bigwigs if you just don’t act like a dick.

  2. S808 says:

    I was surprised (I shouldn’t have been) at people in the replies mad that the guard was fired. It’s bad enough that he racially profiled the EDITOR IN CHIEF of Vogue, he also showed that he had no idea who Edward was. How are you security at the VOGUE building with no recognition of who the Editor In Chief is???

    • Becks1 says:

      I feel like EE was giving him a break on this, by saying that schedules and such have changed, but even so, that stood out to me too.

      I would have loved to have seen the guard’s face when he said “actually, I’m the editor in chief.”

    • Alexandria says:

      Yea but it’s a good thing he got revealed. Even if he knew he was editor in chief, but he treated other lower ranked people of colour the same way, he’s still not a good person.

    • Nic919 says:

      Presumably this was in London and I am sure that EE has a security pass with a photo with him so I don’t even understand how the guard could do this. These large buildings all require a pass to enter and if you don’t have it your photo should be on the system anyway.

    • North of Boston says:

      Racists gonna racist, bigots gonna bigot.

      Often if you put someone like that in a position of limited power (ie the only domain they have control over is a door to an office building … not who gets credentials, who hires/manages the other security guards, just two meters of space in the lobby, they are going to use whatever limited power they have to try to put down anyone they feel like putting down. They don’t care what someone’s credentials say, they don’t care if someone’s name is on the masthead or over the door or whatever … all they see is a black person or a brown person they can exert ‘authority’ over, that they can try to make feel ‘less than’ so they can make themselves feel bigger or more important or brag to their friends about what a super special snowflake bigot they are and how they squashed an uppity black person.

      This is what minorities are up against EVER SINGLE DAY, no matter who they are, what they’ve accomplished, what kind of character they have, how they live their lives, how many boxes they’ve ticked on the “do the right things, build a career a family a life, contribute to society, employ other people, lead an organization” list, some small minded douchenozzle rent-a-cop in an office building can STILL decide and act like a POC doesn’t have any right to occupy space or live their lives or simply GO TO THEIR F’ING JOB at a place where they are one of the top executives.

      We all need to kick these bigots hard, right where it hurts, all the way back to the 1800′s.
      That security guard was free to think whatever bigoted thoughts he likes (even if they are moronic and nasty), but he wasn’t free to act on his bigoted/racist/bullying thoughts. Actions have consequences, and if someone acts like a bigot and impinges on the rights of others, treats others with disrespect, they should experience those consequences swiftly and harshly.

    • Reece says:

      That was my first thought too! How tf do you not know who is the EIC of Vogue, the building in which you work!?!
      I used to work in an amusement park and hell if I didn’t know the CEO, the VP of my dept and others when I saw them.

  3. Becks1 says:

    I saw his tweet on this and was dumbfounded. If the EIC of British Vogue is profiled while walking into his offices – how can people deny that racial profiling happens??

  4. Nanea says:

    The reactions to EE’s tweet show that many white people still have so much work ahead of them, all those “doubters” who expressed their dismay to EE, but at the same time couldn’t or wouldn’t believe that this incident was anything but racially motivated.

  5. TQ says:

    So effed up but happens every single day. Implicit and explicit biases at work.

    And this: ‘But I’m sure all of those white journalists in the UK will just say it was a simple misunderstand and it wasn’t about race or racism at all, it’s only dumb Americans who make everything about race, right??’

    Nailed in 100% Kaiser. SMDH

  6. Sarah says:

    One of the most shocking things I have found in the conversations happening about race recently are the number of people around me who just don’t see the issues and genuinely think everything is fine here in the UK. These are (white) people who absolutely don’t see themselves as racist but they just don’t see what privilege has done to them.

    On another note, I was close to cancelling my Vogue subscription of 20+ years until he came along and I’m enjoying it so much more now.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I did cancel my Vogue USA subscription of 20+ years and do not regret it for a minute.

    • Janey says:

      My husband is one of those non-racist but blind privileged people. Oh the educating I have had to do.

    • Kari says:

      I know folks have a hard time with the word “racist” but until we are honest about it the conversation won’t change. If a person is blind to the privilege that their skin color affords them then they are operating, whether consciously or unconsciously, on racist practices. Racism has persisted for centuries not through overt actions and practices but by normalizing it in our everyday life to the point that most folks do not see it unless they are directly impacted by it. Colorblindess as a mode of operation is racist. This is something that I also struggle to explain to my nonBlack Latinx community. I bring this up because this is something that I have heard from Latinx, British and Canadian peeps in particular but it is definitely not exclusive to them.

  7. Sunnee says:

    I used to follow someone on Instagram who is fixing her farmhouse. She came out as not a supporter of BLM, she’s about All Lives Matter. She blames BLM for the current threat to this country snd wants things to go back to how it was. In her statement she says BLM is Marxist and brings up that Stalin was Marxist killed 20 million. What the what? She then suggests people listen to Candace Owens. CANDACE OWENS. She’s young so it came as quite a shock. She doesn’t even get how racist her statement is. Her followers, many of whom are old white women applauded her outspokenness and her willingness to call out BLM. My point is, racism is alive and kicking and honestly you never know who the oppressor is.

  8. DiegoInSF says:

    I attended a webinar by black executive assistants and their experience in the tech industry and there was a founder of this influential employment agency, she shared a story about what happened at her apartment building someone white asking her in the elevator, what family do you help here in the building? And she replied with “what a coincidence, I was just going to ask YOU the same thing?”

  9. Mariane says:

    The fact that some are making excuses for the security guard shows how those benefitting from white privilege are reluctant to support change and really dont support true equality. This again reminds me of Jessica mulroney debacle.
    It might be nothing for them, but imagine what it feels like for someone who worked twice as hard to achieve what ed did and still being harassed like that!! To this day people still deny that black people have to deal with daily prejudice like this. It was sick to read the comments attacking him on his post

  10. Valiantly Varnished says:

    The comments on Twitter about this are disgusting. One racist Karen (her name was literally Karen) called him a “cockroach with glasses”.
    I say if you dont want to lose you job dont be a racist. Pretty simple.

  11. Jay says:

    Sounds like this person was not great at their job – if you work security for Vogue, it seems pretty basic that you recognize the Editor! Even if it was the security guard’s first day on the job, the guard could at least have assumed he was a guest or there for an interview and asked for his name. I doubt Mr Enniful was rolling in with a dolly full of office supplies and a clipboard- what possible other reason could there be to request someone use the “loading entrance “?

    • North of Boston says:

      Yes. So the guy was bad at his job AND a racist. That’s two reasons to fire him right there.

      I have no patience for people who want to defend him, or somehow want to blame EE … for what, exactly? Walking into his place of work? Not waving his credentials as the EIC every step of the way? Merely existing?

      • Jay says:

        Oh, I hope my comments did not come off as defending him! I was intending to say that I don’t see any other explanation for these actions than racism.

    • Tiffany says:

      One of my first jobs out of college was a temp job at a corporation that required everyone to have photo keycards for entry. Your card worked, security left you alone. It did not, you have to report to the desk. You know who did not have keycards, the CEO and VP’s of the companies who was granted entrance into the building. Yes, it was securities job to know who the damn bigwigs were. They even had their photos at the desk to avoid embarrassment and potentially unemployment.

      So on top of being a racist piece of garbage, the security person was horrible at his job.

      It makes you wonder how many white people he let pass who should not have been there at all?

  12. Angelica Schuyler says:

    This exact same thing happened to my old boss who is Chinese. He was a partner (ie. one of the owners) of a multi-billion dollar hedge fund. He came to work dressed in business casual attire, khakis and a button down shirt, and a new security guard in the lobby insisted he use the messenger center entrance because he wasn’t allowed to come through the main entrance for FOOD DELIVERY. He did not have any food with him. Needless to say that guard was let go within the hour…

  13. LoonaticCap says:

    Yes racism is alive and well. In my African country, shit like this goes down yet nobody is fired, unfortunately. Unless it’s a foreign POS. If someone musters the courage to go complain at our Labour Office, they might (MIGHT) get kicked out of the country. Otherwise… Shrugged off, business as usual. Sadly…
    We have to do better as humans. We really do.
    It is very strange for me to view this from a 3rd world country and yet i see that in America and Europe there are a lot of people that are as ignorant or even more ignorant than the people in my country. It is scary.

  14. aquarius64 says:

    The guard was rightfully canned.

  15. TheOriginalMia says:

    What got me was the guard telling Enninful he had to enter through the loading bay. He didn’t even want to let him in the front door. How many other black people did this guard do this to? As someone mentioned above, I’m sure Enninful had his badge with him. And if he didn’t, his name should have been enough to get him in the front door. Just completely unacceptable behavior and you have to believe the guard was racist for his actions. I don’t feel sorry for him at all. Pull stupid, racist stunts, lose your job.

  16. Kristin says:

    Wait, this can’t be right. I thought the royal reporters all said there was no such thing as racism in Britain?

  17. Donna Martin says:

    Hey Celebitchy can you capitalize the B when speaking about Black people? Merci!