I look forward to Vanity Fair’s annual Hollywood issue every year. It always has fabulous photos of today’s top talent, often in salutes to some of the classic movie stars of the past. And it always has a selection of articles that are surprising and inventive, going way past the usual profiles of the usual subjects.
This year’s issue has some great material, including the article on the women behind the early Disney animation classics, as I have already reported. But I was terribly disappointed with its selection of the most promising newcomers to feature on the cover. It isn’t that any one of them is not impressive. Each of the young women has shown extraordinary talent and star quality. But how, in 2010, is it possible to have a collection of today’s top young female stars and have every one of them be white? How is it possible to overlook some of the most stunning, accomplished, and mesmerizingly watchable actresses on screen?
A young woman no one had ever heard of a year ago has been nominated for an Oscar for best actress for her very first film. We do see Gabourey Sidibe inside the magazine, with her co-star and director. But why isn’t she on the cover? In my opinion, the most dazzling breakthrough performance of last year was Nicole Beharie in “American Violet.” Why isn’t she on the cover? Where is Kerry Washington? Taraji P. Henson? Paula Patton? Meagan Goode? Sanaa Lathan? Keke Palmer? Gabrielle Union? Nia Long? Sophie Okonedo? Anika Noni Rose, star of “The Princess and the Frog” and “Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency?”
What 2009 movie became the biggest box office movie of all time? “Avatar.” And who was the female lead? Zoe Saldana. She was in another enormous box office and critical hit in 2009: “Star Trek.” Why isn’t she on the cover?
And why aren’t they starring in more studio films?