Media Ethics Lesson: Idris Elba and Essence Magazine

The man I love dearly - Idris Elba - is on the August cover of Essence magazine!

(Can you believe I pulled a media ethics lesson out of this!)

Last week while having lunch with my journalist-friend Stacey, we read the accompanying profile piece of the British actor with high anticipation. But you know that feeling you get when you look forward to reading a particular magazine article or new book, only to be disappointed and even cheated out of the money wasted to purchase the magazine or book.

That is how we both felt after reading the profile. Why you ask? Well, lets just say we were not too fond of all the "cake eating" going on in the article.

The article was written by acclaimed journalist Jeannine Amber and was based on her recent lunch date/interview with Elba. While the article is mainly about the actor's recent career moves since leaving The Wire, readers will get distracted by the writer's constant fantasizing of the different sexual positions she would like to do with him.

Oh my!!!

Now, mind you, I'm not an old prude. I love "String" as much as the next woman (or man), but there was something really sleazy and even creepy about the writer's interpretation of the meeting. I have never met the man in person before, although I got to do an email interview with him for a story about a PBS program he hosted last year. Nonetheless, based on other interviews he has done, he doesn't strike Stacey and I as the type of bloke who would want to partake in such an article.

Or maybe I am getting more prude as I get older. Luckily, based on some of the comments on Essence's website for this article, I'm not the only one who feels this way.

But even as a journalist, I couldn't imagine myself writing such an sexually charged article like this, even if I did get a chance to meet Elba. I would be too worried about being taken seriously by editors I would want to work with in the future. Besides being drop-dead gorgeous, Elba has a lot more going on for him, which Amber could have delved into more with him, such as his acting career before his stint as Stringer Bell, or what he likes about being DJ Big Driis. But that's just me thinking out loud.

Stacey had a nuanced view on the article in question; if a similar article about an actress was written by a male journalist, wouldn't people be calling it sexist?


Labels: ,


At Sunday, August 02, 2009 3:54:00 PM, Anonymous Shayna said...

preach to the choir. i was thinking the same thing when i read this article. No you are not prude, you are just decent. the article was crap.

At Sunday, August 02, 2009 4:41:00 PM, Anonymous Leslie Davis said...

Essence magazine has gone down hill since Susan Taylor left. I am seriously considering dumping my subscription with them. I agree with you. I would have prefered more info about Idris and less about ms amber's cake.SMH

At Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:40:00 PM, Anonymous FC said...

Talia, you pose an interesting question about sex and sexism in the media. We as feminists are so used to looking out for examples of attractive women being sexual objectified by men that we almost always overlook it when this happens to attractive men by women. I'm surprised the Essences editors allowed this article to go through to publication. When I started out as a reporter 15 years ago, my editor wouldn't allow me to write anything indicating my feelings in the the article, let alone sexual feelings towards the person I was interviewing.

Boy, times have changed.

At Monday, August 03, 2009 7:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I meet Idris at a night club in ATL last year. he is really nice and beautiful looking in person. I thought it was funny in the article how he got up and left the interviewer abruptly. maybe he didn't like her interviewing style either.

At Monday, August 03, 2009 11:15:00 AM, Anonymous WomenBodyAndSoul said...

Essence is a hot Messence. With each issue it gets worse. They seem to be purposefully alienating readers with brains. I guess they found a more profitable demographic.

At Monday, August 03, 2009 1:28:00 PM, Anonymous Pimpin' ain't easy at Essence said...

Well damn, I didn't know Essence was peddling soft porn these days? I know the journalism world is upside down with the layoffs and all, but Essence is just straight up prostituting for stacks to stay alive. If that's the case, they should just as well stop publishing and preserve black women's dignity.

At Sunday, August 23, 2009 1:52:00 PM, Anonymous Lion of Judah said...

the interview would have been more intriguing if the interviewer asked him straight up if he was gay. I know this chick who "dated" this dude. She says he is so not into women its not even funny. He's a joke in bed, and an even bigger joke making women believe he is straight.

At Saturday, September 19, 2009 8:43:00 PM, Anonymous Gay whores for Idris said...

This article was some bullshit. this jeanette amber woman wants to get oral from a gay man...alrighty then. are you black women so desperate for a man that you will settle for a homosexual. Black women need to get over that Idris Elba is not in you.

At Saturday, September 26, 2009 5:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, hell!! what a waste...idris is so fine. come to find out, the brother is gay!!! my fantasies are over.

At Saturday, September 26, 2009 5:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Idris elba has such beautiful lips and eyes...oh! and that accent!! they drive me wild. well, if he is really gay, then his boyfriend is a lucky guy!


Post a Comment

<< Home