TV Guide is finally speaking out about its decision to edit out Taraji P. Henson, an Oscar- and Emmy-nominated actress, from an upcoming cover, according to Shadow and Act.
Debra Birnbaum, editor-in-chief of TV Guide, says it was her decision all along to exclude Henson, the only female lead of the new CBS show, Person of Interest, from the cover. Co-star James Caviezel was going to be the focus, alongside Michael Emerson.
"I made an editorial decision to do a story about the relationship between the two male characters on Person of Interest, and that's who I was going to put on the cover," Birnbaum said in a statement. "That has been my decision all along, ever since I saw the pilot. We're certainly fans of Taraji Henson, and her story line on the show was never intended to be the focus of our cover story. I don't know where there was a misunderstanding about this, but it's been clear to everyone from the start. I don't make decisions on who is put and not put on the cover based on race or gender … This week's cover September 26 issue features the three stars of Charlie's Angels — Minka Kelly, Annie Illonzeh and Rachael Taylor. We are not pursuing a cover of Person of Interest at this time."
Well, it sounds like things got too hot and decision makers decided to scrap the Person of Interest cover idea totally. Good. Still, no one apologized to Henson. They have the right to make whatever editorial decisions they choose, but too often black actors come out on the losing end of those decisions.
It's a good thing she drew attention to this decision by blasting TV Guide on her Facebook and Twitter accounts. Otherwise it would have been business as usual for structural racism and sexism.
In other news: GOP Debates: Time to Call Off the Clowns.