Elle Magazine Mistake Deemed Mildly Racist, Mag Confuses Two Black Actresses

An Elle magazine mistake in which two black stars were confused for one another has caused controversy on Twitter, and many users feel the mistake was a bit racist in nature.

The Elle magazine mistake occurred during the mag’s “Women In Television” event, attended by both Real Housewives star NeNe Leakes and The Walking Dead‘s Danai Gurira, who plays the amazingly badass character Michonne on the zombie drama.

The women, who look nothing alike and were dressed in dissimilar outfits, were the subject of Elle magazine’s mistake, as Gurira was mislabeled as Leakes in a tweet originating from Elle. (The tweet has since been deleted.)

Not even necessarily eagle eyed Twitter users immediately noticed Elle magazine’s mistake, and began tweeting back to the mag about the error.

After a time, Elle deleted the erroneous tweet and were forced to issue a corrective one, noting that they’d made the embarrassing error and indeed mislabeled Gurira as Leakes.

But the internet never forgets, and screenshots of the mistake have proliferated. Many users have expressed frustration that the mislabeling furthers the idea all black people “look the same,” while other seem to just feel like the incident was an example of the invisibility of women in color in entertainment.

Leakes is said to have quipped:

“I mean—look at my hair. I’m blonde!”

Users were not as forgiving of Elle magazine’s mistake, and one ranted:

“Wow highly disappointed! Its bad enough that black actresses and black women in general are almost invisible in Hollywood and fashion, now a major fashion publication cannot seem to tell them apart. A huge fail Elle! But with that I’ll ‘chuck’ one up to ‘Everyone makes mistakes’ – we all do.”

Elle‘s mea culpa read:

Leakes livetweeted her response, posting of the error:

Of course, anyone can make a mistake, and Elle‘s social media staff certainly didn’t mean any harm – but the error also highlights a problem still pervasive in media.

Did you find Elle magazine’s mistake to be an unpleasant reminder of the difficulties women of color face in Hollywood?

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