Thandie Newton has one of the most accomplished careers in Hollywood, but the British-Zimbabwean actress claims she still feels the pinch of racism from the media. Newton is raising eyebrows for an interview she did with Pride magazine, excerpted in The Belfast Telegraph, ranting against the double standards of magazines. She particularly points a finger at fashion bible Vogue:
“Don’t get me started on Black people being on the cover on big magazines. It’s so preposterous. I mean, I’ve been on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar four times; I’ve been on the cover of InStyle four times, but Vogue, not once,” she railed in the interview.
“And people say to me, I mean literally, people have said to me, ‘What have you got against Vogue that you don’t want to be on their cover?’ And I just laugh.”
While Newton has a point that Vogue tends to be whitewashed, by her own count Newton seems to have snagged more than the average share of covers. Still, the actress feels marginalized:
“They [Vogue] don’t feel the need to represent because it doesn’t make any sense to them. It’s just baffling to me, but as usual America will dictate the way things go and a magazine like Vogue will just follow America,” she said. “But it’s like, don’t you want to trail blaze?”
But Newton didn’t stop there. In the same article, she recounted an incident where she was offended by a comparison to Kate Winslet:
“I remember this guy came up to me once, an actor whose name I won’t mention, but a Black British actor came up and said, ‘Congratulations Thandie, you’ve done really well, although you know if you had been Kate Winslet your life would have been very different,’ meaning that if I’d been white,” she recalled. “I mean I don’t know what he was trying to say. And I just thought ‘wow.’”
Again, it’s true the BAFTA-winning actress’s life would have been different if she were Kate Winslet…but then again, so would Lindsay Lohan’s.
While Newton’s slam on the film business and media is by no means the first from an actor of color, her complaints have been greeted with some scepticism considering she’s had greater success in the industry than many actors, regardless of race. Maybe she’s mad she still hasn’t gotten her well-deserved Oscar?