March 10, 2016

Are The Criticisms Against The Ryan Coogler And Michael B. Jordan Vanity Cover Rational?

A glamour photo of actor Michael B. Jordan and director Ryan Coogler that appeared on Vanity Fair stirred a lot of controversy when the photo circulated online. In the black and white image, Jordan can be seen with his left hand cupping the head of Coogler. A lot of the people criticizing the photo pointed out that the image has homosexual undertones. They say that it's another attempt at black male emasculation. This is the idea that black men working in the entertainment industry are asked to put on dresses or are only given little roles in films and television. Many of the critics believe that Jordan and Coogler are going down this path by allowing themselves to be photographed that way.

These types of criticisms should be addressed because they are wrong on many fronts. We have to understand that Jordan and Coogler are close friends given the fact that they have worked twice on critically-acclaimed films namely Fruitvale Station and Creed. In other words, the glamour shot of them that appeared on Vanity Fair is nothing more but a glamour shot. There's no doubt that there's love between the two but it's brotherly love. Both men are heterosexuals so there's absolutely no reason why anyone should infer that they photo implies homosexuality. In short, the people criticizing the photo are making assumptions about things that aren't there.

One notable thing we can take about the outrage towards the photo is that there's still rampant homophobia in the black community. There are many black men and women out there ready to pounce on works of art that they deem to have homosexual undertones or themes. This is exactly what happened with the Michael B. Jordan Vanity cover photo. When the photo made its way online, critics immediately emerged out of the woodwork.

For a second, let's pretend that Jordan and Coogler are in a homosexual relationship. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that if that is the case. So this outrage towards the photo is really unwarranted. The photo simply shows two professional men showing brotherly love to each other. People are reading and implying too much from the placement of Jordan's hand on Coogler's head. It doesn't mean anything but critics keep on assuming that it does. Fortunately, although there's a lot of people criticizing the glamour shot, there are even more people defending the photo. At this time and age, homophobia should be led out of the door whenever possible.