Kim Kardashian, Kanye West Vogue Cover Backlash: Anna Wintour Defends, Readers and Players Respond

Kim Kardashian, Kanye West Vogue Cover Backlash: Anna Wintour Defends, Readers and Players Respond

A majority of readers across social media, including actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, are slamming the editrix's decision to put Kardashian and West on the iconic magazine's April cover

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West posed for famed photographer Annie Leibovitz's April cover of Vogue, and while the soon-to-be-married couple appeared deeply in love, the internet is not deeply in love with their appearance on the iconic magazine.

The backlash first caught fire Friday when CBS’ “The Crazy Ones” star Sarah Michelle Gellar tweeted: “Well……I guess I'm canceling my Vogue subscription. Who is with me???”

Apparently many readers were just as displeased as Gellar with the choice, as evidenced across social media. The Vogue official Facebook page has racked up 747 comments as of time of this posting — the majority of which are critical of the editor's decision to feature Kardashian and West on the cover.

See photo: James Franco and Seth Rogen Spoof Kanye and Kim Kardashian's Vogue Cover

So why are so many people upset with Vogue and its editor? West is a record-breaking music artist, who though is considered controversial for moments such as charging the stage to denounce Taylor Swift‘s MTV VMAs win and for referring to himself as a “genius” during his infamous beef with Jimmy Kimmel, one could argue (and some are) that West has just as much right to a Vogue cover as past cover subjects.

The harsh criticism across the web seems to be derived mostly over the feeling that Kardashian is merely “famous for being famous,” and hasn't earned the coveted crowning achievement bestowed by Wintour. Kardashian, who stars on E! reality show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” first rose to fame when a sex tape featuring her and R&B artist Ray J leaked on the Internet.

Traditionally, scoring a Vogue cover has been a feat reserved for and accomplished by Hollywood A-listers, award-winning directors or producers and top fashion industry figures.

See video: Bill O'Reilly Demands Jay-Z, Kanye West To ‘Knock It Off’

TheWrap pulled a sampling of just some of the comments from fans on Vogue's Facebook Wall:

“We all knew Vogue was dying, but this is it. The official death of Vogue,” wrote reader Freya Greaves.

Jasmine W said: “Well it's official you don't need to have an actual respectable talent to be on the cover. You just have to be able to take a dick or be one. And in this case…. Well I don't think I need to elaborate.”

Michelle A. Morgan added: “Lupita won an Oscar and Kim Kardashian is on the … I can't even bring myself to say it.”

Also read: Lena Dunham Rips Jezebel for Publishing Her Un-Retouched Vogue Photos: ‘That Was Messed Up’

The angry opinions just go on and on from there. Of course the spoofs came as well, first a Muppets one, with Kermit embracing Miss Piggy, then Seth Rogen and James Franco — the duo that also brilliantly remade West's music video for “Bound 2” — got in on the action.

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour penned an editor's letter defending the decision and preemptively explaining that West did not coerce the magazine into the cover shoot.

“Kanye is an amazing performer and cultural provocateur, while Kim, through her strength of character, has created a place for herself in the glare of the world's spotlight, and it takes real guts to do that,” Wintour wrote. “I think we can all agree on the fact that that role is currently being played by Kim and Kanye to a T. (Or perhaps that should be to a K?).

Wintour added: ”There's barely a strand of the modern media that the Kardashian Wests haven't been able to master.”

See photo: Kim Kardashian Gets 1,000 Red Roses From Kanye West for Valentine's Day, Love Is Safe for a Day

A reader on one publication in response to Anna Wintour's defense, summed it up with the following comment, quoting the Conde Nast creative director:










Gellar's tweet also elicited a large response, along with some other choice public responses representing both sides of the controversy:


  • quoique

    Are these people who called themselves celebrities racists – it makes me wonder? When an anorexic model appears on the cover of vogue, there is no up roar, but when an interracial couple appear no matter what they represent in modern cultural perspectives (which are many) there are threats and hatred. Hypocrisy at its worst! Why don't you celebrities use your public status for change, i.e. animal, environmental activism, protection of forest, helping the children etc. Use Robert Redford as your model – get a life worth leaving.

    • david

      It has nothing to do with being racist or has to do with the fact that one is a shitty rapper and the other is a slut with no talent whatsoever.

      • Chris

        kanye isnt a shitty rapper just an asshole cocky one. on the other hand kim is a dirty whore so i understand the boycott

        • Sickofthem

          Yes, he is; and yes, she is.

      • HeathCliff Rothman

        I understand people's pain. And while it is not the most important issue around, is resonates for many of us as a marker of the decline of values, civility and classy behavior, and not in a snobbish way. Vogue represented elegance, refinement, class, taste. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have acted, as reported, with vanity, bad manners, coarseness and crassness. They don't represent what we all grew up associating as Vogue's values, but appear as a hallmark of contemporary culture's worship of celebrity for celebrity sake, and the shallowness of our society.

        • Kitkat

          Could not have said it better myself!!
          Kanye had to pay big $$$$ to get him and Kim on the cover and ruin Vogue and it's reputation for High Class and High Fashion. Nothing else makes sense. To Kanye: No disrespect but Taylor Swift had the highest paying Vogue cover of all time!! Payback is a bitch!!!

    • Guesty

      Its not about them being interracial its about how messed up and pathetic they are as stars and how vouge a once respectable magazine with high standards just let them be on the cover when they booted a more respectable NON ANAXEIC star off the cover… that's the uproar no one carethats she's white and he's black we care that they don't deservethe cover

    • Taylor Jean

      have you not seen or heard the racist crap out of that fake rappers mouth? give me a break. Its ok for the black guy to spout out racist shyt just not white people? People like yourself need to get a better argument and stop trying to use the race card to ok the crap you people do or support

      • HolidayGuest

        I totally agree! I'm black and I am disgusted with the claims some people are making! If you don't agree with kartrash's vogue cover you must be racist. Or defending it as progress because it's an interracial couple. It's 2014! Vogue has placed Michelle Obama on their cover – the wife of this country's first black President. THAT is progress!

        • Marie Shanahan

          Totally agree. White woman, here, and I along with most normal people, wouldn't even blink at an interracial couple. No arguments, there. It's not their color, but their behavior – as people.

    • HolidayGuest

      Get off your soapbox bcuz you're right here with the rest of us! Inserting yourself and your ignorant comment into the same story you are appalled that the rest of us are discussing. As if you and all the others who are repeating this crap truly care about the ills of the world. But you not only took the time to read this post, you took the time to type out a paragraph or two preaching to the rests of us about getting a life worth “leaving”. LOL! Lebron James and Giselle once covered Vogue so this is not a historic moment for the mag. You probably actually watch that Kartrashian scripted reality show too. Smh.

    • kczdesigns

      I do not agree that this cover is being scrutinized about a mixed couple nor is this an issue on racism. I do however agree with your point about the lack of negative publicity when anorexic models make the cover. I think Vogue is trying to regain it's credibility with a younger audience while at the same time increase their publicity. Sarah Michelle Ghellar is an actress so it isnt too hard to believe that perhaps she was paid to start the discussion about Vogue ‘ s April cover to increase viewership and ratings. After all bad publicity is still publicity.

  • Lincoln DeCoursey

    So the uproar is roughly that this Hollywood/celebrity magazine chose B-list celebrities for its cover photo this month? I'm not familiar with either Kanye or Kim's work, but I've at least heard of both of them, and the fact that they're apparently planning a marriage seems like a reasonable justification to feature them on the cover. I don't follow the entertainment news but I'm fairly sure that celebrity weddings are among the bigger stories.

    • Bob House

      Yo Linc – here's a tip. It's not a Hollywood/celebrity magazine – until now. “I don't follow the entertainment news . . .” When you don't know what what you're talking about, keep your opinion to yourself.

    • Guest

      Don't follow entertainment news??? Why are you posting a comment on a website formatted to provide news regarding the entertainment industry? And if you don't even follow entertainment news how do you expect people to respect your criticism of something you admittedly know very little to nothing about. There are TONS of other stories in the entertainment industry much more deserving than these 2 a$$#oles.

    • kitkat


    • Paulina Smith

      Try D-list!

  • Barbara

    I would not buy any magazine with either on of them. Both are talentless and I would not waste my hard earned money. Both these people are a total embarrassment!

  • Smedley N

    A woman whose legs open quicker than a Google page, and an arrogant rapper that thinks he's a genius…………..what could go wrong?

    • Guiseppi

      “woman” is, in this instance, a funny way of spelling “whore”.

    • bigmama shoe

      yes she slept with a few men and he can have a big head sometime. so what it is their life and she and he has to deal with the things the do or done in it but live and learn.

  • Nikisha K.

    I think people need to find more creative things to do with their time. It seems to me that if people want to dictate who should and shouldn't grace the cover of a magazine…….THEY SHOULD START THEIR OWN!!!!! Until then, who gives a damn how u feel? At the end of the day, Vogue Magazine is going to sell regardless because no one cares about the opinion of someone who knows nothing about running a magazine. That's like a stripper telling a pastor how to preach!!!! The world needs to get over themselves, mad at Kim cause her skills got her in her position while theirs probably got them nowhere, mad at Kanye cause his skills got him somewhere and they couldn't get a fan if they tried unless it came from the store!!!!!!! People need to spend less time worried about who graces a magazine cover and use more time trying to fix the REAL problems of this world.

    • HolidayGuest

      Wow. You typed 100 or more words to
      tell everyone else to worry about more important things. And I think you even said nobody cares what we think. Hmmmm…that's a lot of hypocrisy. And irony.

    • kitkat

      I hope you included your tirade in this group. Kim skills…what skills??? famous for letting someone pee on her in a sex tape. Not including where her dirty mouth has been. Take it from someone who has been in the magazine business, times are tough and this does not help Vogue.
      Obviously they care. Have you even bothered to look at the responses of their editor. Startling backlash. Obviously you are one of the ones who knows nothing about fashion or what people expect of Vogue. It is coming back to haunt them now. Actually I do know of a few former strippers who could teach a preacher how to preach….better. By the way, what REAL problems are you trying to fix by posting here. Can you say hypocrite?

  • BlackCanseco

    White People in Twitter lost their minds over this cover. It was sooo comical. No rhyme or reason to their collective “my precisious Vogue has been tarnished forever!” poutrage.

    Seriously, check the women who've graced Vogue in the past–you'll find sextapes, groupie behavior, “look at me i'm pretty and important” attitudes, drug use, etc.

    We act like Kim is the first woman on Vogue's cover who didn't have questionable taste in men—or sextape, or middling-to-no-real-talent beyond an unapologetic want for attention. We act like Kanye is sooo repulsive and petulant that he surpasses what Vogue has praised others for being “bombastic” and “brazen” for in the past.

    As for Kanye—he's a jerk. But show me a rockstar who wasn't? Show me a popstar that isn't a little bit full of themselves and even petulant? Now show me one with 12 Grammys won and +100millon units sold before the age of 37.

    People are funny.

    I'm honestly no fan of Kim Kanye, but at least be consistent in your anger or you deserve to have the motives behind your anger questioned.

    • TJPhoto40

      Why is this a racial thing now? You're right West is a jerk, from all evidence. But to tar all rock stars or pop stars with the same brush is absurd. I doubt any of us know them intimately, but I'll mention just one well-known non-jerk: Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits).

      • Guiseppi

        Didn't you see the memo? Its always a racial thing with blacks when it comes to hating on whites or any sort of criticism of any black person, anywhere, any time. You criticize a black person for any reason, you're a racist, even if he just punched you in the back of the fucking head! Hard! It's insanity, is what it is.

    • HolidayGuest

      People have the right to be angry about whatever they choose, despite how ridiculous you may think their target is. Just like we respect the fact that you just wrote an angry novel about people on twitter. It's twitter for Christ sake! But it bothered you enough to post all that. So maybe you're the one who may want to reevaluate the topic of
      Your anger and this time try to avoid the hypocrisy.

    • kitkat

      Vogue is about the epitome of High Fashion, High Class, Haute Couture, Fashion Icons, New York Fashion Week, Paris Fashion. Audrey Hepburn,
      Jackie O, Grace Kelly and those the likes of them. Uma Thurman, Charlize
      Theron….icons of today. Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana,Gaultier, Galliano, Valentino, Armani. CoCo & Versace would roll over in their graves if they saw this cover.

  • Randy M Proby Jr

    Would you people have no life, if you are mad about a cover lol.At least thet have done something with their fame,They are people too.They Have millions of dollars and are doing things with there life that you only dream about, and you you are sitting at your desk behind a pc complaining about a magazine cover.Good going America

    • HolidayGuest

      And you're on this site complaining about people complaining about a kardashian. Are you kidding me right now?

    • Guiseppi

      Kanye would be a dead in the water nobody if it wasn't for BLACK MORONS like you buying into his hate filled vitriolic disgusting “music”. Bach is music. Beethoven is music. Eddie Money is music. Hell even Count Basie is music. Where the hell do you get off defending that no talent hack and his whore girlfriend? And what the hell kind of a name is “north west” anyway?

      • wanda faye rigdon

        Bingo ! tore him a New AH there ! Haaaaaaaaa

      • Dee Dee

        Actually the biggest buyers of rap music is not BLACK MORONS but whites

        • Guiseppi

          There is a difference between buying the CD and buying “into” the lifestyle. Do you break into dexter's lab and push random buttons regularly? Because you're dumber than a sack of hammers if you didn't pick up the obviousness of what I was saying. Blacks BUY INTO the rap lifestyle, thats WHY everyone either openly or secretly hates them and doesn't want to live near them.

    • katkim

      No actually I think they would be more appropriate on the cover of Hustler or Penthouse.
      Fits all the way around wouldn't you agree? Is Hustler still around?
      VOGUE “WAS” a High Class “FASHION” magazine. Ask some of the highest paid stylists if Kim and Kanye are style icons. NOT! I am a Hollywood stylist and I am mortified and embarrassed. You are on your pc complaining about our opinions. Who is the hypocrite? Ironic. But typical.
      I know about millions of dollars….it's true money does not buy you class but maybe a cover of Vogue. That makes sense! How they got their fame is disgusting! America….these are not people to aspire to be like or look up to. Trashy sex tapes and butt selfies and trashy lyrics I would not want my children listening to Black or White.

  • katr

    Kim sells Sex with her “leaked” sex tape constant half naked selfies. She has set women back 20 years. in womens rights. We are NOT sexual objects. we are more than that. Kim suggesting that women’s value is tied to their looks and sexual appeal to men. This is known as sexual objectification. Women and media have to stand up to this person

  • TJPhoto40

    We shouldn’t be surprised by the repulsive sight of TMZ’s darling couple on the cover of American Vogue, and it’s only natural that Anna W’s indulgence in celebrity worship would eventually sink to these dank depths. But this ultimate callow celebration of empty-headed celebrity reeks nevertheless. Pairing the no-talent vanities of a Kardashian with the aggressive self-promotion of a Kanye West, all glory to this swamp of cultural decline.

    But adding insult to atrocity, Queen Wintour has the gall to defend this debacle by rhapsodizing about how “charming and touching” the cover is, how Kardashian’s “strength of character…and real guts” impress her, and how West is “an amazing performer and cultural provocateur”. (Stop laughing! She’s dead serious, or just brain dead.) All of this spoken by the Queen with a straight face hidden behind sunglasses as dark as a bottomless pit.

    After a lost decade or so scraping the bottom, American Vogue found a way to further degrade itself. It wasn’t enough that the superficial and undistinguished has characterized both fashion and the photographic depiction of it in this US edition for many years, while its foreign titles carried the Vogue weight with editorial content of a more challenging vision. But then, this conception of fashion and mindless celebrity as permanently entwined has nothing to do with art or vision, so a serious reader turned away long ago.

    And of course, those of us who dare to question the taste of a Queen are simply jealous outsiders. So our bitter complaints will be dismissed like an old scarf, badly out of vogue.

    • HolidayGuest

      That was amazing.

  • HolidayGuest

    There is one thing that is ringing loudly and true on every blog post and article about this crap cover. And that is the fact that all comments in support of k and k have been ignorant and juvenile. Calling anyone who disagrees with them a racist or a – “hater”…..ugh! I am so sick of that term!! It speaks volumes that Kartrashian fans aren't capable of an original, coherent thought that they haven't seen or heard somewhere else because it's the same crap from all of them.

    • Guiseppi

      I've been on this old world since the early 70s, and I'm here to tell you something; the vast vast vast VAST majority of people who relentlessly demonize whites as racists, they are the ACTUAL racists.

  • Marie Shanahan

    I don't think either of them were successful in “mastering” the media. They have paid in big money, sweat, tears and blood to be over-exposed or “blown out of proportion” – talent or no – but they've mastered nothing. They are some of the most tragic cases of fame and the seedier side of “immortality” seeking this country has ever seen.

  • Guiseppi

    How to have sex with kim K.

    Be black.
    Be male.
    Pay her.

    Its just that simple folks. But don't forget, for just three easy payments of 19.95 you can have her in a sham wedded life for the next six months before she finds a bigger blacker dick! Operators are standing by! We take Visa, Mastercard, and Food stamps!

    • wanda faye rigdon

      Bingo !

    • kitkat

      This tape was not a “leak” but planned. You don't have multiple camera angles, high production value, directed by someone, & well thought out.
      Watch it and you will see. Professionally produced. There were others besides Kim and RJ in the room. Kris
      Maybe? Look at who it was distributed by.

      • Sickofthem

        Mommy dearest.

  • Xan

    Ms Wintor herself always seems to be a bit upright. So, maybe it is a bit enlightening she has placed Kim and Kanye on HER cover! I think it's quite fascinating how so many of you call Kim a whore. Have any of you looked up how many times Christie Brinkley was married in a short time? You all call her a whore Bc she made a video with a serious boyfriend. I'm quite sure millions of people have done the same…It just hasn't. been leaked! Get over yourselves. And Sarah Michelle, you are no academy award winner my dear! Kim you and your family look great!

    • Guiseppi

      Whore. Whore whore whore whore whore whore whore.

      You don't really like that word, do you? Well I got news for you “Xan”, whoever, and whatever the fuck you are, I call it like I see it, and I would call out whore behavior as quick in Mother Theresa as I would Kim K. Stop trying to deflect attention away from your “model” interracial couple. Kim is a whore, Kanye is a no talent hack piece of shit black man who just got big because some liberal in a record company thought he would “speak to the urban audience”. The entertainment biz is full of whores who would let 10,000 immigrants straight from darkest congo fuck them on camera just for a spot on the next America's Got Talent.

      And while you're at it, have a look at “spousal abuse rates in interracial couples”. The rates are higher than white/white couples. Though I would hardly call kim white, since she's been fucking apes since long, long before she was a “celebrity”.

  • wanda faye rigdon

    these people are Trash with Money ! they got from other trash ! who buys their Trash ! Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  • wanda faye rigdon

    and shes got a ASS bigger than the Grand Canyon ! Haaaaaaaaaaaa

  • jo1234

    if you put nori on the cover welll its another story !!

    • Guiseppi

      Nori at least accomplished something other than surgically implanting two watermelons into her ass-cheeks to attract black guys.

  • jo1234

    get a sex tape maybe anna W WILL PUT YOU ON THE COVER

  • dontgiveashit

    I don't give a fuck who on the front page.

  • kterbo

    I do not watch tv or read seedy magazines at all, and I don't know much about Kim K. except that she is of no talent. Can someone explain to me why the cover is so wrong, is that why people are so angry at Vogue, because she is talentless? Or is there something else?

  • O Hernandez

    Ana please. Do they pay you ????? Honey Boo Boo is next.
    Get a job in page Six.

  • Rappa’

    All they do is complain!

  • Skabetti

    Kim & kanye: yawwwwwwwwwn.

  • bigmama shoe

    who haven't slept with more than one man or video tape themselves specially in her generation I am old school so I wouldn't done it and yes it wrong some of the things she done but who hasn't made a mistake in there life? wither or not she feels that way it still her life and she has to deal with it? I see most of the posting is hating for what reason? because they are on a magazine are you serious? I think it is a very beautiful photo. now what they do or done hey it's also their life if you don't like it then don't look read or watch them!!! and for the movie star who wrote I am canceling because they are on the cover of the magazine really? keep it to yourself because there are people who just because buffy the vampire is canceling I will do the same thing. stop the hating people!!! I wish them luck and happiness!!!!!!


    desperate times for Vogue, they will put anyone on the cover to keep themselves in business. So sad for the Iconic magazine, they will be remember for this disgrace than what they really stood for. NO MORE VOGUE FOR ME !
    This picture should be on the Playboy cover or in that type of entertainment industry after all didn't Kim get her celebrity fame from laying on her back.?

  • Sonnymorgan

    With all the bad things happening in the world and all the people that can be helped and all the positive thing God wants us to do, GET YOUR ASSES OFF FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, ETC AND BECOME VESSELS OF POSITIVE CHANGE! WHO CARES ABOUT THESE IMAGES OF ‘HIGH CULTURE, FASHION, AND SOCIETY'? It's a magazine, they can put a booger on it and it's their choice just like its your choice to not buy it, and move on with your lives. You judge these people for what they've done or how they act? Are your hands clean? Are you all virgins waiting til marriage? Have you ever said something that hurt or embarrassed others like Kanye did? Weren't you forgiven? THESE THINGS DON'T MATTER. Help a child, a family member, or maybe, your souls. I love every one of you enough to say that your lives will be much more fulfilling when you ignore these type of things. Live and let live.

  • jack flash

    Her ass is so fat, i can't even see puff daddy on the cover. She doesn't even pretend to have any talent. He lies to himself about having it all. This passes for entertainment.

  • BlackPegasus

    What a perfect lesson for our young girls. Gain fame by becoming an internet sex whore, then sell yourself to the highest bidder of black men who hate their own dark skin.

    • Guiseppi

      Amen to that. I've about had it with media and commercials pushing ‘hey young white girls, grow up and fuck negros!'. I'm sure I'm not alone in these feelings.

      • Rosa

        Shut the fuck up you racist wop and get a life.

  • Paulina Smith

    How can I post a photo in here?

  • Paulina Smith

    The funniest thing about this, is the tweet that Kim's BBF sent to SMG. You know, the guy who's always kissing her ass and sniffing around her like a dog during dinner time. He asked a talented actress if she mattered? Well… do you? LOSER!

  • Guest

    Try D-list.