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Actual White Supremacy Feeling the Heat

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PostPosted: 06/14/20 9:46 am    ::: Actual White Supremacy Feeling the Heat Reply Reply with quote

Now we're getting somewhere.

(I've done something here that is unusual for me. I've titled the links to these articles NOT as they are on the New York Times. And that's because the NYTimes has done something different. Usually they use the exact wording of the title in their URL for their pieces. Usually. Today they didn't and I thought their choice of URL wording was interesting and I used those words instead.)

Anna Wintour Condé Nast Racism

Bon Appétit belongs to Condé Nast, a media empire perhaps unrivaled by any institution on earth in its supplication to image. For decades, both at the level of corporate culture and branded worldview, the company’s lifestyle magazines have held to the notion that there are “right’’ people and wrong people, a determination made by birthright. There are the rich, and there are the dismissible; the great looking, and the condemned — a paradigm that has now become dangerously untenable, and one the company has been striving to change.

Within the Condé Nast framework, autocratic bosses were left to do whatever they pleased — subjugating underlings to hazing rituals with no seeming end point. So much was excusable in the name of beauty and profit. “Difficulty,” Kim France, a former editor in chief of Lucky magazine, told me, “was regarded as brilliance.”

No one at Condé Nast has had more of an outsize reputation for imperiousness wed to native talent than Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, the artistic director of the company and more recently its “global content adviser’’ as well. Mr. Rapoport, who spent 20 years at the company and turned around an ailing product in Bon Appétit, reported to her.

What sort of management cues were to be taken? Famous for a self-regarding style — she might demand that subordinates arrive 30 minutes early for certain meetings she attended — Ms. Wintour was obviously not in the best position to try to convince him, for instance, that he should not ask his assistant (black and Stanford-educated) to clean his golf clubs. (That was one of the many revealing details in a Business Insider exposé of the food magazine that arrived this week.)

Race is a fraught subject at Condé Nast. Several employees of color I spoke with, all of them laid off over the past few years, talked about the challenges they faced. They struggled to be heard or get the resources they needed to do their jobs at the highest levels; they faced ignorance and lazy stereotyping from white bosses when the subject of covering black culture came up; they all said they were exhausted by always having to explain it all.

Even though they were no longer at Condé Nast, not one of them felt free to speak on the record out of fear of retaliation from the company or the concern that they would be looked at as complainers, making it much harder to find work.

Conde Nast Racial

The British-born Ms. Wintour has been credited internally for championing Radhika Jones, one of few top editors of color in the company’s history.

Ms. Jones, the former editorial director of the book department at The Times who took over Vanity Fair from Graydon Carter in 2017, changed the magazine’s identity. The first cover subject she chose, for the April 2018 issue, was the actress and producer Lena Waithe, a black woman photographed by Annie Leibovitz in a plain T-shirt. Later covers featured Michael B. Jordan, Janelle Monae and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Ms. Jones has put out 16 Vanity Fair covers featuring people of color.

When Ms. Jones arrived, she was pilloried by fashion insiders who questioned her style sense. Her choice of legwear — tights with illustrated foxes — drew stares, according to a report in Women’s Wear Daily. Ms. Wintour later showed her support for Ms. Jones at a welcome party by handing out gifts: tights with foxes on them.

At a quarterly meeting of company executives in April 2019, on Mr. Lynch’s second day at Condé Nast, Ms. Jones presented her plan for Vanity Fair’s fall issues, a prime landing spot for fashion and luxury advertisers. (From September to December last year, the Vanity Fair covers featured Kristen Stewart, Lupita Nyong’o, Joaquin Phoenix, and Chrissy Teigen, John Legend and their children.)

Two executives criticized Ms. Jones’s plan, according to three people who were at the meeting and were not authorized to discuss it publicly. In particular, Susan Plagemann, the chief business officer of Condé Nast’s style division, challenged Ms. Jones at length, saying the plan would be difficult to sell to advertisers. To defuse the tension, Ms. Wintour banged her fist on the table, saying, “We need to move on,” according to the three people who were at the meeting.

Ms. Plagemann, who is white, joined the company in 2010 as Vogue’s chief business officer and worked closely with Ms. Wintour; in 2018, she was elevated to her current job. Three people with knowledge of the matter said she was vocal about her negative view of Vanity Fair under its new editor.

She had criticized Ms. Jones’s choices of cover subjects, telling others at the company that the magazine should feature “more people who look like us,” two of the people said. A third person said he had heard her use words expressing a similar sentiment. All the people said they interpreted the phrase and similar remarks as referring to well-off white women who adopt an aesthetic common among the fashion set.

These are the people who fund the Democratic Party. THESE are your diversity Democrats. It's why... everything. As I've said and as it has probably been stolen from me, with these people, you get The Hunger Games. Watch that movie, and then look at the Met Gala. You're under their thumb. We all are. How can things change if this is our side?

Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
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