I posted the Lebron James and Gisele Bundchen Vogue cover on here several weeks ago and a number of you noted that the image used was a little suspect, likening Lebron’s posture/pose in the photo to that of King Kong (See below) 


Writer Jemele Hill over at ESPN.com also had this to say….

“LeBron’s image clearly means a lot to him, maybe even as much as pursuing a championship. And that’s why I can’t understand why he would allow Vogue to feature him with supermodel Gisele Bundchen in such a distasteful manner. 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. But Vogue’s quest to highlight the differences between superstar athletes and supermodels only successfully reinforces the animalistic stereotypes frequently associated with black athletes.

A black athlete being reduced to a savage is, sadly, nothing new. But this cover gave you the double-bonus of having LeBron and Gisele strike poses that others in the blogosphere have noted draw a striking resemblance to the racially charged image of King Kong enveloping his very fair-skinned lady love interest. Vogue deserves criticism, but more blame should go to LeBron and other black athletes, who need to exercise stricter control of their images. If LeBron is brave enough to wear a Yankees cap at an Indians playoff game, picking up a history book and educating himself shouldn’t cause a strain. As it is, LeBron was the first African-American male to grace Vogue’s cover. Too bad it will be memorable for the wrong reasons. Continue reading

Now are we totally justified in thinking that Vogue’s motive behind the image used was racist, or are we just being over sensitive here?

Your thoughts please….. 

10 replies »

  1. I sentiment with the writers thoughts about people educating themselves and having a level of control on their images. I don’t think that there was a deliberate racist agenda, I think that sadly the creatives who came up with this simply don’t see it as racist, given that many prominent black males in the public eye lampoon themselves in a similarly stereotypical manner.

  2. I don’t think it was deliberate…with that said..I’d need to see the rest of the photos…I mean it’s just one shot, right? It’d be a problem if ALL the shots where suggestive in a gorilla like manner….

    am I making sense? lol

  3. The idea that the ppl behind this shoot even gave it a THOUGHT that it may cause offence is a golden one.

    It’s a nice way to keep the glass half full..LOL!

  4. The idea that such ppl gave it a second thought that it may cause harm and offence is truly warming.
    I clearly need to start seeing the glass as half full

  5. Wow, I just never gave it a thought that the ppl behind this would actually of given it a second thought that they may cause offence to a small mionority of black folk, given the numerous Ghetto Messes who continously grimace like er…animals on so many other publications…
    I clearly need to see the glass as half full here..

  6. well its what most prominent black foootballlers actually do innit!!!!
    especially in the uk!!!!!
    .. ( moving on up like the jeffersons huh!!!
    oh lawd!!!

  7. This is all BS. I’m Black and did not even think about King Kong when I saw the cover. People just love to create controversy. I would have prefer a fashion photographer cause i think the pics would have been more creative. I’m more offended by the Rap music videos and their portrayal of black men and black women.

  8. I think I agree w/Nad…

    I think we could arguably better spend our collective energy trying to fix the black on black crime that happens daily. We off each other in far greater numbers than the Klan ever did, even @ its zenith in the Antebellum south.

    I don’t even read Vogue like that, nor does anyone I know.

    Or maybe I’m digressing…

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March 2008
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