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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

LeBron's Vogue cover drawing criticism

The Associated Press had a story today, reporting that the recent Vogue magazine cover of LeBron James with supermodel Gisele Bundchen is drawing criticism from some that say it is racially insensitive.

I don't see it from glancing at the cover, but opponents argue that the photo reinforces racial stereotypes. Their argument is the photo features a young, athletic black male in an aggressive manner, clutching a young, beautiful white female.

In the AP story, magazine analyst Samir Husni says the photo "screams King Kong".

Did that image cross anyone else's mind?

Jemele Hill of ESPN.com wrote:

In case you haven't seen the cover, LeBron has Gisele in one hand and a basketball in the other. LeBron is dressed in basketball gear, with his muscles flexing, tattoos showing and bared teeth. Gisele, on the other hand, is wearing a gorgeous slim-fitting dress, and smiling.

She looks like she's on her way to something fashionable and exciting. He looks like he's on his way to a pickup game for serial killers.

Pickup game for serial killers? Really? I know Hill is trying to make a point, but come on. What part of his appearance gives the impression he's going to a pickup game for serial killers? The tattoos? His scowl and yell? How is LeBron's appearance/outfit different from what he'd be wearing at an NBA game?

To make the quantum leap that this photo is a reminder of King Kong climbing the Empire State Building with Fay Wray clutched in his hand is ludicrous.


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