Essence Hires White Editor; Uproar Ensues
But black women's magazine will not change course
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2010 2:40 PM CDT
ESSENCE Magazine's White House Exclusive! Special May Cover Story Features First Lady Michelle Obama and Her Mother.   (PRNewsFoto/ESSENCE Magazine, Timothy White)

(Newser) Essence is a magazine “seen as the ultimate fashion and lifestyle title for black women,” writes Keith J. Kelly in the New York Post. So what is it doing hiring a white fashion director? That’s what the founding fashion director of Vibe wants to know, writing on Facebook, “The fashion industry has historically been so hostile to black people—especially women,” and calling the hiring of Ellianna Placas “a dark day.”

More than 90 comments have been left, from those expressing disappointment to those urging we “cut a little slack.” Essence's editor-in-chief says Placas, who previously worked at O: The Oprah Magazine and Us Weekly, will not be replaced regardless of the controversy. Hamilton Nolan weighs in on Gawker: “Should a white person be the top editor of Essence? Probably not unless it's absolutely necessary. Should a white lady be fashion editor of Essence? It's fine with me.”

 

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