Ebony magazine and its new Editor in Chief Kierna Mayo are on a roll. This week, the magazine dropped its second controversial cover in a row. The 70-year-old publications Dec/Jan cover features Grey’s Anatomy actor/activist Jesse Williams, legendary actor/singer/activist Harry Belafonte and outspoken actress Zendaya Coleman. After their last cover featuring a photo of the Cosby show edited to look as though it was fractured, this cover, which includes the annual Power 100, has already generated controversy.
Despite his years of activism, Belafonte has recently experienced some controversy of his own with quotes attributed to former lover Eartha Kitt who says he once told her a Black woman would never help him get ahead. (This story was apparently recounted in One Life To Live actress Ellen Holly’s book, and is years old.) That this potentially happened maybe 40 years ago and that he may have changed his mind if he did say it doesn’t matter; it has some accusing the magazine of anti-Black bias, while others point out that all three of the cover subjects are biracial.
Mayo, who fielded questions about the cover via her Twitter account on Monday night, made this statement about the cover: “It is truly an honor to celebrate the tremendous talents and accomplishments of the honorees on this year’s Power 100 list. From the #BlackLivesMatter movement to technology disruptors to the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies, all of the selected individuals have made an undeniable impact. They represent outstanding examples of greatness, and provide hope and inspiration for the next generation.”
Check out the entire Power 100 list HERE