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from NY Daily News

Are the celebrity media racist?

A top tabloid editor tells me that Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s wedding was played down by the weeklies because “African-Americans don’t sell covers.”

Of the big five celebrity glossies out midweek, only Us Weekly gave Beyoncé the top spot on the cover. Other magazines gave her second billing to the likes of Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Aniston.

“None of the magazines landed an exclusive on wedding pictures, which would have made the story bigger,” said one tabloid insider, justifying why Beyoncé was relegated to a small cover box on his magazine.

But even wedding photos make less money for black stars, says another source. “Eva Longoria can get $1 million for wedding photos, but without the expectation of cover sales, Beyoncé might have gotten as little as $250,000 if she had sold hers,” says a top editor.

Magazine publisher and black gossip pioneer Flo Anthony responds: “That sounds to me a very racist statement. Beyoncé is one of the biggest stars in the world, much bigger than Eva Longoria.”

Anthony publishes Black Noir for women, as well as Toy Box, a black parenting magazine with a celebrity focus. She said: “It is hard for African-Americans in magazines. Only a few people, like Will Smith and Halle Berry, are mainstream. Editors really still think that only blond hair and blue eyes sell magazines.”

As another tabloid source says: “We have a saying, ‘Only Oprah.’ Oprah is the only black celebrity big enough to put on our cover.”

But Us Weekly editor in chief Janice Min tells me: “Janet Jackson has been on our cover twice, for two of our best-selling issues we’ve ever had.”

Min is also the only non-Caucasian to helm a top celebrity magazine. She acknowledges there is a perception in her industry that black stars don’t sell covers, but adds: “Typically, you will hear that discussion among a group of all-white editors.”

Miss NJ:  This is what I was saying the other day (see here).  Jay-Z and Beyonce are not important to the majority of white America.  That’s not A-list status.  It’s actually not even A1-list status.  They are clearly (and firmly) B-list celebs.  If even that, because that Heidi chick from The Hills has no problem getting on a cover.


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