Since the death of George Floyd one year ago yesterday, the world made an attempt to become more inclusive. Sephora announced they’d dedicate 15%of its shelf space to Black-owned businesses; Target vowed to spend $2 Billion with Black-owned Businesses by 2025 to advance racial equity; and brands like Uncle Ben’s and Aunties Jemima decided to rebrand and change their names. There was even a call to see more Black faces in C-suites offices and for the most part, some companies listened. Unfortunately, not all brands are hopping on the inclusivity train.
In a tweet, SZA disclosed that she refused a magazine cover because they wouldn’t hire a Black photographer.
As far as who the publication is, SZA wouldn’t drop a dime.
The “Good Days” singer then went on to thank the magazines she’s worked with in the past willing used a Black photographer in their cover shoots.
That magazine should consider themselves lucky that SZA won’t reveal their name. In the age of the internet and cancel culture, directly calling the publication out could be damaging to their brand. Do we care about mangling the magazine’s reputation? Absolutely not. SZA’s request wasn’t complicated or unattainable. To her point, there is a bountiful amount of talented Black photographers that could’ve been called and their refusal to do so shows we still have some work to do.
As other brands vowed to bring Black talent to the forefront, some are choosing to do that latter. Thanks to SZA’s tweet, we know that publications are still holding onto their diversity and inclusion biases. I wouldn’t be surprised if this were a magazine that tries to capitalize off of Black people, but won’t willingly employ them. What do you think? Was the magazine wrong for not adhering to SZA’s request for a Black photographer?