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Anna Wintour says she takes ‘full responsibility’ for ‘hurtful or intolerant’ behaviour at Vogue

Posted On : June 10, 2020

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Anna Wintour has said she takes “full responsibility” for racial inequality at Vogue, after admitting the magazine has not done enough to “elevate” black staff and designers.

The Vogue editor-in-chief acknowledged the company’s “hurtful and intolerant” past creative decisions in an internal staff memo written amid worldwide protests following the death of George Floyd.

In the note, seen by the New York Post, Wintour began by addressing the feelings of sadness, hurt and anger that many employees are experiencing, before writing: “I want to say this especially to the black members of our team – I can only imagine what these days have been like.

“But I also know that the hurt, and violence, and injustice we’re seeing and talking about have been around for a long time. Recognising it and doing something about it is overdue.

“I want to say plainly that I know Vogue has not found enough ways to elevate and give space to black editors, writers, photographers, designers and other creators,” Wintour continued in the email, sent 4 June. “We have made mistakes too, publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant. I take full responsibility for those mistakes.”

The artistic director of Condé Nast also acknowledged that it “can’t be easy to be a black employee at Vogue” and that there are “too few” people of colour working for the fashion magazine, before promising to “do better”.

“I know that it is not enough to say we will do better, but we will – and please know that I value your voices and responses as we move forward. I am listening and would like to hear your feedback and your advice if you would like to share either,” Wintour wrote, before encouraging staff to reach out to her directly.

“I am proud of the content we have published on our site over these past few days but I also know that there is much more work to do. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with me directly. I am arranging ways we can discuss these issues together candidly, but in the meantime, I welcome your thoughts or reactions,” Wintour concluded.

The 70-year-old’s letter came amid accusations of racial inequality at other Condé Nast brands, including Bon Appétit.

On Monday, the food magazine’s editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport stepped down after a photo showing him in brown face resurfaced, sparking widespread criticism.

The racially insensitive image also prompted Bon Appétit employees of colour to come forward about their experiences with racial discrimination at the magazine.

Following Rapoport’s resignation, Condé Nast released a brief statement in which it said it is “dedicated to creating a diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace” and has a “zero-tolerance policy towards discrimination and harassment in any forms.”

Wintour’s email to magazine staff also comes after Vogue’s former editor at large André Leon Talley accused the fashion editor of not being “capable of simple human kindness” in his new memoir, The Chiffon Trenches.

“She is immune to anyone other than the powerful and famous people who populate the pages of Vogue,” Talley wrote of his former friend and colleague. “She has mercilessly made her best friends people who are the highest in their chosen fields.”

The Independent has contacted Vogue for comment.

This article originally appeared on The Independent

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