Andre Leon Talley is calling out his former Vogue boss Anna Wintour for the timeliness of her statement about the magazine’s history with diversity.
According to Us Weekly, Wintour released a statement to her team via email. The email came amid creatives on social media accusing the publication of not hiring and promoting black writers, photographers, and creative directors. Wintour admitted that in her decades at Vogue, she and her team haven’t “found enough ways to elevate” black artists to tell stories for the magazine. She also promised to do more to uplift black creatives in the issues moving forward.
Talley, who worked alongside Wintour for several years, discussed her statement with Sandra Bernhard and Andy Cohen on Cohen’s Sirius XM show, Radio Andy. In addition to sharing that he felt Wintour’s remarks “came out of a world of white privilege,” he also said he believes Wintour made the statement to compete with Harper’s Bazaar. As The Inquisitr previously reported, Bazaar recently made a historic move in naming Samira Nasr as its first black, female editor-in-chief earlier this month.
“Clearly that statement comes because [Nasr] is going to run competition rings around her,” Talley speculated. “[Wintour’s] power-base has been somewhat affected by the competition of this young, African American presence.”
During the interview, Talley also compared Wintour’s statement to the remarks NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made following the controversy surrounding former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Goodell recently apologized on behalf of the NFL, admitted wrongdoings in the past, and pledged to encourage NFL players to protest in the future. Talley said that like Goodell, Wintour didn’t highlight any black creatives that may have influenced her decision nor did she share who she intends to hire at Vogue to ensure the magazine is more diverse.
“Give people back their jobs and name them. If you’re going to make a statement, name what your mistakes were,” Talley said. “Own up to it, dear. All I’m asking for his human decency and kindness.”
The public critique of Wintour from Talley comes one month after an excerpt from his book, The Chiffon Trenches, was released, per The Guardian. In his memoir, Talley accused Wintour of being cold to him in recent years. He claimed she stopped calling him to work at major fashion events like the Met Gala. Additionally, Talley said Wintour axed his podcast under Vogue without his knowledge. She gave him “huge psychological scars” in the years since he’s known her and felt he was more important to her in their earlier days together. Wintour has yet to address Talley’s claims publicly.