Allison Samuels of entertainment blog the Daily Beast asks a pointed question: Would Zoe Saldana be on the cover of major magazines if she were white?
Poignant examples that beg an answer include the fact that Ms. Saldana was suspiciously absent from Vanity Fair magazine’s 2009 Hollywood issue…even though she had three (count ’em, three) major films in the top 20 earners –including the over the top “Avatar”. (Yes, she was animated, but that’s besides the point.)
“A brown face just doesn’t resonate with nonminorities when it’s on the cover of magazines.” –Bethann Hardison
Other examples include the ever present (read: annoying) full court press whenever someone like Angelina Jolie is in a film. Even fellow Latina Jennifer Lopez is plastered, promoted and marketed, when she’s doing a film –even though she arguably hasn’t made a good film since Selena.
“(W)hile both Beyoncé and Rihanna appear on Instyle and Glamour magazine covers this month, both women are singers, which is a more traditionally accepted role for women of color. Dominating the box office is not.”
The article gets into some basic missteps regarding race and ethnicity, but overall it’s fairly well covered. A note: Zoe Saldana has never implied that she wasn’t Black. She said that she’s not African American and she’s emphasized that her race should not matter when it comes to roles, though she’s built a solid career on Hollyhood (“Drumline,” “Guess Who,” and “Blackout” to name a few). An ethnicity is land-based, not race based. Any “race” can be an American, just like any “race” can be Latino/Hispanic. Zoe Saldana is Domincan (yes, the other side of the island is Haiti) and Puerto Rican –both places with a sizable Black/African-descent population.
Aside from the ethnicity versus race comments in the article, it’s an insightful look into the politics of image, media and race.
Read more at the Daily Beast…