Friday, March 28, 2008
Vogue: LeBron James
Last week, our news station (Cleveland) ran a story about the possible controversity over their superstar (LeBron James) and his new cover shoot for the Vogue magazine. Of course, it was the last news segment. Afer watching it, I kindascratched my head.
Well today, I saw the story is hitting some national attention. I am a little amazed and bewildrered. Maybe I am just naive and out of touch with reality.
I do not see racial problems in the photo. I see two "superstars" and they are having fun in the photo shoot.
Am I missing something ?
Are they realling painting black men wrong ?
Is he really "King Kong" ?
Here are what some are saying in case this story has slipped past you ...
- It’s an image some have likened to “King Kong” and Fay Wray.
- It conjures up this idea of a dangerous black man,” said Tamara Walker, 29, of Philadelphia.
- But magazine analyst Samir Husni believes the photo was deliberately provocative, adding that it “screams King Kong.” Considering Vogue’s influential history, he said, covers are not something that the magazine does in a rush. “So when you have a cover that reminds people of King Kong and brings those stereotypes to the front, black man wanting white woman, it’s not innocent,” he said.
- In a column at ESPN.com, Jemele Hill called the cover “memorable for all the wrong reasons.” But she said in an interview that the image is not unusual — white athletes are generally portrayed smiling or laughing, while black sports figures are given a “beastly sort of vibe.”
- Images of black male athletes as aggressive and threatening “reinforce the criminalization of black men,” said Damion Thomas, assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology at University of Maryland.
- “If more people of color worked for Vogue in positions of editorial authority, perhaps someone in the room might have been able to read the image the way so many of us are reading it now, and had the power to do something about it.”
James told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer he was pleased with the cover, saying he was “just showing a little emotion.”
“Everything my name is on is going to be criticized in a good way or bad way,” James told the paper. “Who cares what anyone says?”
So, what do you think ??