Black LGBTQ Celebrities Cover Entertainment Weekly PRIDE Issue, Criticism Mounts Over Absences
The global pandemic may have cancelled PRIDE festivities for the near future, but that hasn't stopped organizations and one national publication from celebrating virtually and on newsstands everywhere. For glossy magazine Entertainment Weekly, the celebration is happening on their June cover.
Black LGBTQ celebrities such as Janelle Monae, RuPaul, Laverne Cox and Lil Nas X all grace the cover along with a host of other out celebrities from past and present.
For our cover illustration and the opening spread of our Pride package, (Jack) Hughes worked closely with EW deputy design director Chuck Kerr to place 18 iconic LGBTQ stars in an imaginary party in the Hollywood Hills.
“As an LGBTQ+ artist, I know how important representation in the media is,” says Hughes. With painstaking attention to detail, he juxtaposed legends of the past with stars of today and a rising new generation of talent.
The result? The kind of bash we’d all dream of going to: with Rock Hudson rubbing elbows with Ellen DeGeneres, Marlene Deitrich cutting a rug with Cynthia Nixon, Freddie Mercury warmly greeting Janelle Monáe, and Ryan Murphy showing up wearing Liberace’s cape.
While the cover is being celebrated in many circles, it's also experiencing its fair share of criticism. Namely, the almost invisible "Stonewall brick," captured on the floor behind Lil Nas X and the current Black LGBTQ celebrities, such as Billy Porter, who is noticeably absent.
"The “first brick thrown at Stonewall” was on the cover. Not Marsha P Johnson. Not anyone actually involved in the Stonewall Riots, the cornerstone of the LGBT+ rights movement," wrote Josh Milton of Pink News.