jessica chastain

Festival de Cannes (Officiel)/YouTube

Twitter slams Los Angeles Times for cover featuring only white women

'I’m trying to think how this photo could be whiter but I cannot.'


Kris Seavers


Posted on Dec 22, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 7:06 am CDT

We’ve learned a lot about race in 2017. But this Los Angeles Times cover proves there’s still a lot more to learn in 2018.

Twitter users slammed the publication Friday for the front page of its entertainment insert, which featured six “leading” actresses, according to the cover story. It did not include any women of color.

Margot Robbie, Diane Kruger, Saoirse Ronan, Annette Bening, Kate Winslet, and Jessica Chastain were all featured in the roundtable article, which discussed “the treatment of women on screen, learning from film roles and finding confidence.” The question on many users’ minds was, why couldn’t an actress of color answer those questions?

“I can think of one way that we can ‘change the way many stories are told,’” Fordham English professor Scott Poulson-Bryant wrote on Twitter. “Look up irony in the dictionary before you write your cover lines.”

Many people called out Chastain, in particular, because she has previously spoken up about equality and pointed out racism in the industry.

Rebecca Carroll, a WNYC editor and Times critic, addressed Chastain directly.

“As an outspoken voice for equality how do you pose for a photo like this and not feel absolutely mortified by the blatant exclusion?” Carroll wrote. “How is it possible to not understand the msg this photo sends?”

She went on to say that both the photo and actresses included completely contradict the story’s emphasis on a “shift in focus.”

She questioned the symbolism of the women featured as “change agents”—when black women were the demographic that prevented Alabama from electing alleged pedophile Roy Moore.

Caroll and others mocked the magazine, asking if including a redhead (Chastain) was the publication’s idea of diversity.

One user called The Envelope, the name of the Times insert, “Sunken Place Magazine,” referring to the evil purgatory seen in Jordan Peele’s film Get Out.

People have also criticized Winslet, one of the actresses featured on the cover, for defending Woody Allen, who she worked with on the film Wonder Wheel. Allen, along with Harvey Weinstein and many other Hollywood men, has been accused of sexual assault.

If 2017 was a year of reckoning for Hollywood women—who could finally come forward with stories of systemic assault and harassment—perhaps 2018 will be the year of extending the courtesy to listening to (and believing) the experiences of people of color and their testimonies of systemic racism.

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*First Published: Dec 22, 2017, 3:02 pm CST