Bloomberg Businessweek has apologized after its latest cover, showing black and Latino people wallowing in cash, drew offense at what many saw as racist depictions.
The cover was for a story entitled "The Great American Housing Rebound," which describes a return to the aggressive mortgage lending practices that created the last housing bubble.
"Our cover illustration last week got strong reactions, which we regret," Josh Tyrangiel, the magazine's editor, said in a statement. "Our intention was not to incite or offend. If we had to do it over again, we'd do it differently."
The story describes a nascent real estate boom in Phoenix, which was hit hard by the housing bust. The illustration features people in a home, all of whom appear to be black or Latino, grabbing money.
The illustrator, who is himself Hispanic, said he meant no offense.
“The assignment was an illustration about housing," said Andres Guzman, who was born in Lima, Peru. "I simply drew the family like that because those are the kind of families I know. I am Latino and grew up around plenty of mixed families.”
But readers didn't see it that way.
"Racist is a label I try not to use lightly," tweeted Dan Kennedy, a press critic and professor at Northeastern University. "This is racist. Nice work, Businessweek."
Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon, called the cover "outrageous."
"Your racist cover for housing story portrays greedy minorities w/ exaggerated features," he tweeted. "Outrageous. Not ok."