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March 13th, 2013
Oscar-nominated actress Michelle Williams is under controversy over her new cover shoot for British magazine AnOther. Williams appears on the cover of the magazine dressed as a Native American woman, outraging critics for perpetuating stereotypes and altering her appearance.
Pop culture website Jezebel published an article titled, “Why Is Michelle Williams in Redface?” Jezebel writer Ruth Hopkins boldly states, “It’s a 33-year-old white actress hyping her latest Hollywood project by wearing a cheap costume designed to make her look like she’s the member of another race.”
Similar outrage was expressed by Lexi Nisita of refinery29.com, who pointed out the major transformation of the pixie-styled blonde actress. “They added super-long, thick, black extensions and braided them,” said Nisita, who also points out the altering of her nose and cheek-bones in the photo.
Williams is promoting the children’s Disney film, Oz The Great and Powerful, so you would expect her to be more careful in her promotional work. When you think of The Wizard of Oz, a Native American theme isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind. Even if this photo shoot had no intent on being offensive, the people behind it had to know how insensitive the concept is.
If the purpose was to garner attention, it worked. It just came with the cost of sacrificing the magazine’s credibility. What are your thoughts on Michelle Williams’ new magazine cover? Do you agree with critics or are people just overreacting?