Last week, Bloomberg Businessweek ran a magazine cover featuring gross caricatures of black and Latino people swimming in money, feeding it to their dogs, and burning it for warmth. This cover led Colorlines’ Channing Kennedy to ask, “Would a more racially diverse and equitable newsroom at Bloomberg have presented this mess?”
As the American Prospect’s Jamelle Bouie points out, the problem isn’t just the racist caricatures. “The whole cover plays into the widely-debunked myth that unreliable minority borrowers were responsible for the financial crash. … [T]he truth is that they were disproportionately victimized by unscrupulous lenders. This cover, however, all but implies that minorities are primed to cause another crisis.”
According to Dylan Byers at Politico, Bloomberg Businessweek offered the following half-hearted apology; “Our cover illustration last week got strong reactions, which we regret. Our intention was not to incite or offend. If we had to do it over again we’d do it differently.” Is it too little, too late? Here’s what you had to say.
Nell Carden Grey:
Looking at that cover feels like getting punched in the face.
Jaime Jenett told Bloomberg Businessweek:
My mouth was literally hanging open in shock when I saw the cover of this week’s issue of Businessweek. The absurdly racist caricatures of people of color only serve to further reinforce the growing sentiment that the upper echelons of finance and business are little more than a thuggish gang of narrow-minded, self-serving, elitist, out-of-touch jerks. Kudos for at least letting your jerk flags fly high and proud.
Meghan A. Burke:
THIS is the outcome when we ignore, defund, and dismiss issues of inequality and privilege in our education and media systems.
Wow. I fully support equity, but even a random bunch of white people should have known better.
WTF? So the only time POC images appear on Bloomberg BW is when brown folk are portrayed as wasteful and ignorant? And where are the mostly white bankers and hedge fund managers who started this financial nightmare?
Forget that it’s offensive. It’s INACCCURATE. Who is the creative director who would think this captures the housing crisis?
This non-apology/faux apology is not even close to showing any recognition of what is wrong with the cover.
The creative director at Bloomberg is a 34 year-old white male. That’s not to suggest that all young people, white people or males are prone to hipster racism, but it does follow the arc of obliviousness about the history of racism and how images impact and perpetuate racial stereotypes. It’s not enough to say my bad after public outcry. Where is the diversity (in terms of race, gender, and age) at Bloomberg that would have prevented this offense in the first place?
“Apologized”? Really, they regret the reactions they got, not their actions.