Can You Guess the Last Time Entertainment Weekly Featured a Black Actor on Its Cover?
I knew something seemed unusual when I looked at Entertainment Weekly's new cover featuring Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, and Viola Davis, three of the stars of the new film The Help. Is it the lighting? Emma Stone's curiously nondescript expression? Nope, it's that we haven't seen a black actor or actress featured on the cover in quite some time. Can you guess the last black thespian to land the cover of EW?
According to my quick search of EW's archives, the last black actor to win the cover was Jennifer Hudson in April, 2009 -- and that was for a cover story focusing on her music and family tragedy. To be fair, Michael Jackson (arguably also an actor) graced the cover by himself following his death in mid-2009 and in a preview for This Is It in October 2009, but still, we're going on two years without a black thespian featured on the magazine's front sleeve. Rashida Jones appeared as part of the Parks and Recreation ensemble on a February 2011 issue, but before Hudson, Will Smith was the last to earn the honor all to himself in December 2007, and before that Denzel Washington (with Russell Crowe) November 2007.
If the term "actor" is tripping you up, the amount of black non-actors on the cover is just as low. In the past four years, only Randy Jackson (appearing as part of the American Idol ensemble), Tyra Banks, Alicia Keys, and Usher have appeared -- along with a few tiny heads in various collage covers. Weird.
You'd think at least Oprah Winfrey would warrant a cover. Or Beyonce. Or someone who isn't Johnny Depp or Robert Pattinson or Harry Potter, who've been on more times than I cared to count. Ugh, Jack Sparrow. I remember when we got along.
• 'EW' Cover Archives [EW]