Here Are The ‘Slavery’-Themed Birthday Photos That Prompted One Vogue Director To Resign

A fashion director for Vogue Brazil has stepped down amid backlash over photos of what critics are describing as her "slavery"-themed 50th birthday party.

"The fashion director of the Brazilian edition of Vogue has resigned after photos from her 50th birthday party drew criticism for evoking colonial depictions of slavery," The Guardian reports. "Images from the party showed Donata Meirelles, who is white, sitting on a throne-like seat flanked by four black women dressed in white at the celebration in Bahia, Brazil’s blackest state."
"Hey @CondeNast, Donata Meirelles, the director of Vogue Brazil, had her birthday party inspired in 'Brazil Slavery Colonies' and even had black models dressed as slaves to use as photo props. Asking for a friend: does this align with your company's values?" wrote one disgusted reader, who signed off with the hashtag #VogueRacista.
"The black women were used as objects to create an exotic scene," wrote Marie Claire Brazil's Stephanie Ribeiro, The Guardian notes. "It’s reminiscent of colonialism and romanticizes those times. She was recreating the image where whites are superior and blacks are dehumanized."
Meirelles posted an apology on Instagram a day after the party, explaining the chair featured in the photos was an artifact of Candomblé, a religious tradition founded in Bahia, Brazil based on African religious practices. The white clothes the women were wearing was supposed to be traditional Bahian attire for a celebratory event. "Even so, if I caused any different impressions, I am sorry," she wrote.
But her explanation and apology were clearly not enough. On Wednesday, Meirelles announced she was resigning her position.
"Vogue Brasil profoundly regrets what happened and hopes that the debate that has been generated serves as a learning experience," the magazine said in a statement on Instagram Wednesday. In response to the controversy, the magazine is founding a "permanent" forum of "activists and scholars" to help them determine content and "combat these inequalities" going forward.
"We believe in affirmative and purposeful actions and also that empathy is the best alternative for the construction of a more just society, in which the historical inequalities of the Country are debated and faced," reads the post (partial translation via Google Translate). "In pursuit of the constant evolution that has always guided us, we take the reflection generated to broaden the voices within the team and create, on a permanent basis, a forum formed by activists and scholars who will help define contents and images that combat these inequalities."
Racially charged photos have become a regular feature of recent headlines amid the Democrat debacle in Virginia, where, after defending infanticide, Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was hit with an old photo from his med school yearbook allegedly featuring him either in blackface or a KKK hood. Northam initially apologized for the photo, but then claimed he wasn't either of the two men, while also admitting he did dress up as Michael Jackson around that time. Northam has since dug in his heels amid calls from his own party to resign.
Meanwhile, the first in line for the governorship, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, is likewise facing pressure to walk away amid multiple sexual assault allegations. (Ironically, Fairfax has hired the legal team who represented Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to defend him, while one of Fairfax's accusers has hired Christine Blasey Ford's attorneys.) The second in line for the position, Attorney General Mark R. Herring, who has called for Northam to "step down," has since revealed that he wore "brown makeup" in the 1980s,
Here Are The ‘Slavery’-Themed Birthday Photos That Prompted One Vogue Director To Resign Here Are The ‘Slavery’-Themed Birthday Photos That Prompted One Vogue Director To Resign Reviewed by Your Destination on February 15, 2019 Rating: 5

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