pop culture, pittsburgh, and potpouri

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Is this perpetuating racial stereotypes???

There is a shit storm a brewing over the cover of the new Vogue magazine. When it was first revealed that Lebron James would be on the cover of Vogue, everyone cheered because it would be the first black male to grace the cover. It couldn't have been that easy. The cover shot has been released and of course people have a problem with it. The cover, regardless of what anyone says, is an obvious reference to King Kong and Fay Wray. To some, this is perpetuating racial stereotypes. The argument is that black athletes are always posed in some violent, scary way, while white athletes are always posed smiling. I can't tell you if this is true or not, but I can tell you I love this cover. Lebron is the King Kong of basketball. He fucks shit up just like Kong. Plus, don't people actually like King Kong? If you are referring to someone as King Kong in terms of their athletic ability isn't that a complement? I tend to think we are too hypersensitive about race in this country. The cover is fun, and even Lebron said he liked it. You know Vogue is trying to be provocative to sell magazines, so of course they were trying to raise some eyebrows, but to say this is perpetuating stereotypes isn't fair to Annie Lebovitz (who shot the photo). If we had to tip toe around race so that no one is offended, we would miss out on other great photographs including this one. I am right or wrong? Atleast someone comment dammit!!!

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