Was BusinessWeek Cover Racist? Editor-in-Chief Says 'We'd do it differently

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(Credit: Bloomberg Businessweek via Slate, screenshot)

After criticism that its Feb. 25 cover image was “stereotypical,” racist and offensive, Bloomberg Businessweek editor-in-chief Josh Tyrangiel told Yahoo News “we regret” the decision to run it, adding that:

“If we had to do it over again, we’d do it differently.”

Yahoo News noted that the artist Andres Guzman explained in a Tumblr blogpost what the magazine asked for. “I was asked to make an excited family with large quantities of money,” Guzman wrote.  He added in a statement published by Yahoo News that he “drew the family like that because those are the kind of families I know,” adding “I am Latino and grew up around plenty of mixed families.”

Columbia Journalism Review described the cartoon:

“The cover stands out for its cast of black and Hispanic caricatures with exaggerated features reminiscent of early 20th century race cartoons. Also, because there are only people of color in it, grabbing greedily for cash. It’s hard to imagine how this one made it through the editorial process.”

Later, CJR commented that the magazine wasn’t “intentionally racist” but “just flat missed how the cover would be construed.” CJR also noted that the magazine’s recent history with edgy covers, citing a cover story “Let’s Get It On” accompanying a picture of “airplanes-having sex” and a cover about the “Mormon business empire.”

Even though the cartoonist was from a minority group, the editors apparently weren’t, thus supervisory capacity was missing diversity, iMediaEthics notes.

The National Association of Black Journalists issued a statement of “disappointment” in response. Its president, Gregory Lee Jr., said:

“The image that was published by Bloomberg BusinessWeek is just a microcosm of a bigger problem in the magazine industry­ — the lack of diversity.”

And the NABJ’s Vice President-Print, Errin Haines, labeled the image “clearly offensive and demeaning.”  Haines questioned: “Who thought this was a good idea?”

Hat Tip: Media Bistro Morning Newsletter

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Was BusinessWeek Cover Racist? Editor-in-Chief Says ‘We’d do it differently ‘ if given second chance

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