Anna Wintour Says Vogue Has ‘Made Mistakes’ with Diversity and Race

The editor in chief sent a letter to staff last week and specifically addressed Black employees

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In a staff email sent last week, Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour said the magazine had “made mistakes” in its handling of diversity and race.

The Thursday memo, obtained by the New York Post, said, “I want to say this especially to the Black members of our team — I can only imagine what these days have been like. But I also know that the hurt, and violence, and injustice we’re seeing and talking about have been around for a long time. Recognizing it and doing something about it is overdue.”

She added that it “can’t be easy to be a Black employee as Vogue” and “there are far too few” on staff, but vowed to “do better by listening to them. Representatives for Vogue did not immediately return a request for comment.

It went on, “I am proud of the content we have published on our site over these past few days but I also know that there is much more work to do. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with me directly. I am arranging ways we can discuss these issues together candidly, but in the meantime, I welcome your thoughts or reactions.”

Parent publisher Condé Nast, where Wintour serves as artistic director, has been in the news as unrest over systemic racism has taken over the country in the wake of the Memorial Day police killing of George Floyd. A company-wide town hall on Tuesday about diversity and pay equity drew skepticism and scorn from former employees, who didn’t buy CEO Roger Lynch’s statement that the company was unaware of diversity complaints.

Their reactions came on the heels of the resignation of Bon Appétit editor in chief Adam Rapoport after an old Instagram photo of him in brownface resurfaced on Monday . The photo drew widespread backlash, which prompted a larger conversation on social media surrounding the culture at the magazine — and Condé Nast — and how non-white staff members are compensated and treated.

Assistant BA food editor Sohla El-Waylly, who had called for Rapoport’s resignation earlier in the day, said that only white BA editors have been compensated for appearing in video content on the magazine’s popular YouTube channel, whereas none of the people of color have.