USA Today‘s editor-in-chief Nicole Carroll admitted she published a blackface photo when she was editor of her college yearbook.
In a Feb. 20 opinion article, Carroll explained that USA Today had staff review yearbooks to see if there were cases when yearbooks published blackface photos — a newsworthy search since at least two politicians in Virginia, including Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring, were accused of wearing blackface in photos in the 1980s. One such instance of blackface published was in Carroll’s Arizona State University yearbook, which featured two people pretending to be Mike Tyson and Robin Givens. “It is horrible, and of course the photo should not have been published,” Carroll wrote.
She continued, “Clearly the 21-year-old me who oversaw the book and that page didn’t understand how offensive the photo was. I wish I had. Today’s 51-year-old me of course understands and is crushed by this mistake.”
IMediaEthics wrote to USA Today to ask if it contacted the two people pictured in blackface and for more information. USA Today declined to comment further.