Sports Illustrated is accused of being racist by using minorities as “props” in their latests issue of which Kate Upton covers, as pointed out by Jezebel.com. The issue features models posing all over the world, behind people native to the country.
In each of the seven photos (representing the seven continents) the model rocks a barely-there bikini while natives to the area wear some form of traditional garb.
In Spain the model stands next to two matadors, while in China Australian beauty Jessica Gomes is supported by a group of Chinese girls, making her what the site calls “the centrality of Whiteness.”
A shot in Africa was to originally feature a Black model, but a White model provided for a better contrast. Taking place in Nambia, Emily DiDonato stands behind a half-naked man with spears, driving the theory that Africa is an uncivilized nation, filled with “primitive people, despite the fact that it is a very diverse continent with an epic diaspora and considered the birthplace of civilization.”
At one point, DiDonato is captured with the spear in her hand.
Ironically, when it comes to models in Australia no props were used, which Jezebel theorizes is because “Australians probably aren’t exotic enough?” However, shoots in the Bahamas and Chile have no natives added with the models either. And as for Upton’s shoot–which was done in Antartica–she’s surrounded by penguins.
Sports Illustrated isn’t the only publication to do a similar shoots, but did they cross the line, or is it just harmless shots?
Click below and see them, as well as some others that didn’t go over so well.
Photos: Sports Illustrated/Jezebel