Scoop: Why no actresses of color on VF cover?

Not one of the nine upcoming actresses featured on Vanity Fair's new cover is non-white

By Courtney Hazlett
|  Monday, Feb 8, 2010  |  Updated 5:06 PM CDT
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Nine young actresses are featured on the latest cover of Vanity Fair. The magazine claims that they’re all part of the new wave of Hollywood, but critics also say the actresses have another common trait: not one of them is a person of color.

“Access Hollywood’s” Shaun Robinson took note of the cover, which features Kristen Stewart, Abby Cornish and Anna Kendrick among the nine actresses, and blogged about her concerns.

“Where was Zoe Saldana, of ‘Avatar’ and ‘Star Trek?’ Or Gabourey Sidibe, the Oscar-nominated actress from ‘Precious?’" Robinson wrote. “This year, we’re going to see our most diverse Oscars red carpet in years. We should see that respected on television and in our magazine covers.”

Point taken, but according to reps for Vanity Fair, the process of choosing who is included in the Hollywood issue is one that involves careful consideration about an actress’ body of work, which might disqualify newcomer Sidibe, for example.

The magazine says that there are other practical considerations, too, such as which actresses are able to physically appear for the photo shoot, which takes place in a single day.

Although Vanity Fair had no comment regarding actresses of color who were approached but had a scheduling conflict that prevented their inclusion, the magazine did issue this statement.

“Deciding who will appear on the Hollywood Issue cover — and within the issue itself — is a long process, and one we take seriously,” said a representative for Vanity Fair. “For the young actresses on the cover, both films coming out this year and past work were taken into consideration, as were schedules and availability, since we had to shoot all nine actresses in a single day.”

No ‘Idol’ for Howard Stern
According to reports by the New York Post's Page Six, radio shock jock Howard Stern has had talks with Fox about being the replacement for Simon Cowell when he leaves “American Idol.”

This comes after Stern said, cryptically, that he “was approached by a major TV network to take over a TV show and leave here and do that next year — and I did turn it down . . . I’m not even sure if I want to be working. I’m waiting to see what happens.”

It might be a long wait, according to one source close to the show, who says that regardless of Stern turning down an alleged offer, he wasn’t likely to make any sort of short list.

“Being controversial is one thing, but being downright divisive, like Stern would be? That’s another issue entirely,” the source said. “He’s mainstream in his own right, but he’s not so much family-friendly. He’d be a huge gamble for the network. “I don’t see it happening even if he agreed to it.”

‘Dear John’ shoots down ‘Avatar’
“Avatar” couldn’t stay atop the box office charts forever, but if you had to guess which film would knock “Avatar” off its No. 1 perch, would you have guessed it would be a film starring Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum?

Before their film, “Dear John,” hit theaters you couldn’t really classify either actor as having bona fide star power. But even if you did guess “Dear John” would top “Avatar,” it would have been difficult to predict the Nicholas Sparks adaptation would gross $32.4 million in one weekend, and set a new record for a Super Bowl weekend release.

On a side note, now that Seyfried is has proven her power at the box office with films like “Dear John” and “Mamma Mia,” one has to wonder about what this means for her future on “Big Love.”

Seyfried’s paychecks just got a lot bigger — hopefully that contract with HBO was a long one.

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter @courtneyatmsnbc

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