USA Today reported that Elle magazine is under fire for its latest Women in TV cover with actress Mindy Kaling. The magazine issued four different covers.
However, Kaling was cut off at the chest and was filtered in black and white — while fellow funny ladies of TV, Allison WIlliams, Amy Poehler and Zooey Deschanel, who were on the other three Elle covers are pictured full-length and in color.
Followers of Elle’s Twitter account noticed the difference and took the time to share their thoughts. Some readers direct-tweeted, “@ELLEmagazine’s cover featuring Mindy Kaling is a post-racial liberal’s wet dream. Unfortunately, it’s still racist. Try harder Elle.”
Others were more blunt, “@ELLEmagazine Mindy Kaling cover just plain racist and fat-ist. You do not empower women ELLE, you bring them down.”
According to USA Today, Elle editor in chief Robbie Myers responded in a news release to the backlash saying, “The covers we shot with Zooey Deschanel, Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler and Allison Williams are all distinctive.”
On Tuesday morning, Kaling responded to the perceived photo fail in a tweet, which Elle retweeted: “Wishing for more skin on my @ELLEmagazine cover? Chris Messina & I are naked on a brand new #themindyproject tonight, ya pervs! 930/830 FOX”
Elle magazine also had a response on Twitter. A tweet remarked, “Mindy looks sexy, beautiful and chic. We think it is a striking and sophisticated cover and are thrilled to celebrate her in our Women in TV Issue.”
Kaling is the only actress whose cover photo highlights just her face. Given that Kaling, 34, has repeatedly described herself as average-sized when compared to the typical rail-thin celebrity, some observers thought that perhaps Elle had intentionally left Kaling’s curves off the cover.
The magazine told E! Online that it has no regrets about the “sexy, beautiful and chic” photo it chose to use of Kaling.
This isn’t the first time that Elle magazine has been criticized for its treatment of fuller-figured stars. When Melissa McCarthy was tapped to join Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley as one of the publication’s November cover stars, many questioned the choice to hide McCarthy’s shape in an oversized coat while Witherspoon and Woodley showed plenty of skin.
The magazine stood by its styling decision, and McCarthy later explained that she had picked the coat.