SZA refuses magazine cover


Source: Kevin Mazur / Getty

Since the death of George Floyd a year ago yesterday, the world has tried to become more inclusive. Sephora announced that it will dedicate 15% of its storage space to black-owned businesses; Target has pledged to spend $ 2 billion with black-owned businesses by 2025 to advance racial equity; and brands like Uncle Ben’s and Aunties Jemima decided to change their name and rename. There was even a call to see more black faces in the C-suites offices and for the most part some companies listened. Unfortunately, not all brands are on the inclusiveness train.

In a tweet, SZA revealed she turned down a magazine cover because they wouldn’t hire a black photographer.

When it comes to the post, SZA wouldn’t give up a dime.

The “Good Days” singer then thanked magazines she has worked with in the past for using a black photographer for their cover shoots.

This magazine should consider itself lucky that SZA does not reveal its name. In the age of the internet and cancellation culture, directly calling the post could hurt their brand. Do we care about damaging the reputation of the magazine? Absolutely not. SZA’s request was neither complicated nor unattainable. In his opinion, there is a plentiful supply of talented black photographers who could have been called in and their refusal to do so shows that we still have work to do.

While other brands are committed to bringing black talent to the fore, some are choosing to do so. Thanks to SZA’s tweet, we know that posts still maintain their diversity and inclusion biases. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a magazine that tries to take advantage of black people, but doesn’t use them on purpose. What do you think? Was the magazine wrong in not adhering to SZA’s request for a black photographer?

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Amanda P. Whitten

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