Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Is This Racist?

Personally, I don't see it, but head over to the Huffington Post to read more about the apparent controversy regarding the cover of this month's Vanity Fair.

Although I don't think the argument against the cover is wholly without merit, I find it a little absurd that someone could actually be personally offended by an image that is so obviously intended to be playful, or, at worst, mildly provocative.


Brandon said...

To me it immediately evokes King Kong and Ann Darrow. (It's almost literal, just short of putting them atop the Empire State Building.) So, yeah, I think it's totally racist.

MDD said...

Totally racist. Not harmful or malevolent, but the pictorial equivalent of a poor joke by a white comedian.

Would the same photo work with Larry Bird (not that Larry Bird's ugly mug should be on any magazine covers)? The King Kong parallel only came to Annie Leibowitz's mind because Lebron is a large black man.

Josh said...

I guess I see the King Kong parallel, but that to me doesn't make it ipso facto racist. It is the "shape" issue after all, and Lebron's shape is fundamentally incomparable from Larry Bird's. I think that if you were to substitute a white guy of similar size (Brian Urlacher, perhaps?) the picture would work. I think it's Lebron's unusual physicality more than his race that makes the picture a (possible) play on King Kong.

Megan said...

Jeez, this didn't at all call to mind King Kong for me. Perhaps because Giselle is very tall and not so blonde. Perhaps because I'm not a racist?