IT’S COMPLICATED: As much as the fashion industry is fueled by reinvention, it continues to be beleaguered by its checkered track record for diversity.
Vogue and its leader Anna Wintour came under fire for transgressions, during a Wednesday morning discussion on “The View.” While cohosts of the ABC show were chiming in (primarily favorably) about Vogue’s August cover featuring Dr. Jill Biden, Meghan McCain disagreed.
Thursday morning McCain, the daughter of deceased Republican Sen. John McCain, announced that she will be leaving the program later this month to spend more time with her daughter and husband.
Wednesday McCain stated on-air that she has been “done with Vogue ever since they put a very racist cover [in 2008] with LeBron James and Gisele [Bündchen] on the cover where he’s meant to look like an ape holding a woman.”
She also said, “Vogue has a very, very problematic history, as you can read about in André Leon Talley’s book [“The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir”] that he wrote and actually was a guest on this show talking about the intense racism he felt.”
Reached Thursday morning, Talley defended Wintour and Condé Nast, despite having chronicled in his book some of the discrimination he faced at the company during his career. “I have said this before. There is not a racist bone in her body. Anna comes from a European culture, perhaps a colonial class culture [coming] from England. This may influence her but in the end, she is an extraordinary editor. I don’t think she should be attacked by anyone on such a format as ‘The View.’ No one’s coming after Anna Wintour because she’s doing what she promised to do after her official statement last summer after the killing of George Floyd.”
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Floyd’s murder last summer “changed everything,” Talley said. “Anna Wintour had to go on the record to say that she felt it was her responsibility. She would now make the changes that were necessary. She had indeed ignored the important impact of diversity in Vogue. As the head of Condé Nast, she has gone at breakneck speed to make the wrong right. She does indeed make a conscious effort to have diversity on the cover — Lizzo, Naomi [Campbell] and the [Youth] Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman. She has made great strides in getting what’s wrong right in the magazine and in the culture of Condé Nast in the past year.”
Wintour, who serves as Condé Nast’s chief content officer and Vogue’s global editorial director, declined comment Wednesday through a Vogue spokeswoman.
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