Numéro Magazine has now apologized for their “African Queen” fashion spread where they used a White American model, Ondria Hardin, painted in blackface. Even though the model is from the Ford Models agency, where there are a plethora of models to choose from who have Black faces that don’t need painting.
Now here’s the thing, the apology doesn’t evoke any real sense of regret, in my opinion. Their words are carefully (minus the grammatical errors) placed in such a way, that reading between the lines was quite simple. Check out their apology below and what they really meant.
“The artistic statement of the photographer Sebastian Kim, author of this editorial, is in line with his previous photographic creations, which insist on the melting pot and the mix of cultures, the exact opposite of any skin color based discrimination.”
Translation: See, it’s not our fault. The photographer was the one who came up with this concept. He’s done it before (even though you can’t find it on his site). Can’t you see how much it represents a melting pot of culture? Come on now!
“Numéro has always supported the artistic freedom of the talented photographers who work with the magazine to illustrate its pages, and has not took part in the creation process of this editorial.”
Translation: Again, our magazine had nothing to do with this spread. We just published it.
“For its part, Numéro Magazine, which has the utmost respect for this photographer’s creative work, firmly excludes that the latest may have had, at any moment, the intention to hurt readers’ sensitivity, whatever their origin.”
Translation: Ok, so that part we take responsibility for–you know–the publishing, we’re sorry for that. It was only Sebastian’s ideas coming to life.