Anna Wintour admits to ‘hurtful’ and ‘intolerant’ behavior during her 32 years as editor-in-chief of Vogue.
As reported by Page Six, the artistic director for Condé Nast emailed employees on Thursday, June 4, as Black Lives Matter protests continue to spring up across the nation following the death of George Floyd.
Wintour wrote: “I want to start by acknowledging your feelings and expressing my empathy towards what so many of you are going through: sadness, hurt, and anger too.”
She continued, “I want to say this especially to the Black members of our team — I can only imagine what these days have been like. But I also know that the hurt, and violence, and injustice we’re seeing and talking about have been around for a long time. Recognizing it and doing something about it is overdue.”
“I want to say plainly that I know Vogue has not found enough ways to elevate and give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers and other creators. We have made mistakes too, publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant. I take full responsibility for those mistakes.”
The British-American journalist’s been called out before. In André Leon Talley’s book The Chiffon Trenches, the former editor-at-large described a piece he wrote for the Washington Post about the cultural significance of Beyoncé’s September 2018 Vogue cover. He noted that not one major editor wrote to him about the piece, “not even one quick e-mail from Anna Wintour.”
Wintour continued her statement to say that change is coming. “This is a historic and heartbreaking moment for our country and it should be a time of listening, reflection, and humility for those of us in positions of privilege and authority,” she wrote. “It should also be a time of action and commitments. On a corporate level, work is being done to support organizations in a real way. These actions will be announced as soon as possible.”
Her message was sent out to employees a few days before Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport resigned after a photo of himself in brownface resurfaced. The food magazine is also owned by Condé Nast.
“I am stepping down as editor in chief of Bon Appétit to reflect on the work that I need to do as a human being and to allow Bon Appétit to get to a better place,” Rapoport announced via an Instagram post on Monday, June 18.
He continued, “From an extremely ill-conceived Halloween costume 16 years ago to my blind spots as an editor, I’ve not championed an inclusive vision. I will do all I can to support that work, but I am not the one to lead that work. I am deeply sorry for my failings and to the position in which I put the editors of BA. Thank you.”
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