Jessica Chastain has acknowledged her all-star Los Angeles Times magazine cover is a “sad look” after editors failed to include any actresses of color in the Hollywood photoshoot.
The Zero Dark Thirty star recently posed alongside Kate Winslet, Annette Bening, Diane Kruger, Margot Robbie, and Saoirse Ronan for The Envelope publication, which was accompanied by a group interview celebrating women’s contributions to the film industry in 2017.
However, the cover image sparked controversy as social media users noted the lack of diversity in the picture, with many calling out Chastain specifically, given her track record of demanding equality and inclusivity for all in Hollywood.
“Honestly @jes_chastain as an outspoken voice for equality how do you pose for a photo like this and not feel absolutely mortified by the blatant exclusion?” journalist Rebecca Carroll posted on Twitter last week (ends22Dec17). “How is it possible to not understand the msg (message) this photo sends?”
Others took issue with The Envelope’s “A Shift In Focus” headline.
“A shift in focus from … white men to white women? Who greenlights this? @latimes,” remarked one Twitter user, as another commented, “@latimes for a shift in the way stories are told you need to change your story. A shift in focus would be a cover that reflected a more diverse Talent pool. #changethenarrative”.
Chastain has since responded to the criticism by admitting the shoot wasn’t a great move, although she appeared to blame to studio executives for their lack of diversity in casting major motion pictures.
“It’s a sad look that there’s no WOC (women of color) in this pic of us promoting our female lead films (sic),” she shared. “The industry needs to become more inclusive in its storytelling. What were your favorite WOC lead films this year? I LOVED @salmahayek in #BeatriceAtDinner.”
However, Chastain subsequently confessed she couldn’t think of any other mainstream movies that fit the criteria.
“Its (sic) TERRIBLE that I can’t think of at least 5 female lead films with woc this year,” she wrote. “In 12 months there’s not even 5?!”
The other stars featured in The Envelope interview have yet to speak out about the backlash.