SZA says she turned down magazine cover opportunity after outlet refused to hire a Black photographer

·2-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

SZA has revealed she turned down a magazine’s cover offer after the outlet reportedly denied her request to hire a Black photographer for the photoshoot.

The Kiss Me More singer shared her experience on Twitter on Tuesday, where she wrote: “I requested a Black photographer for a cover [and] the mag told me no lol it’s 2021… and almost Juneteenth.

“Respectfully I can’t do it.”

The tweet, which has been liked more than 95,000 times since it was posted on Tuesday, prompted angry reactions among fans, with many requesting that SZA share the name of the publication.

“What magazine bestie, I’ll handle it,” one person tweeted, while another said: “Name. The. Mag.”

While the 30-year-old said in a follow-up tweet that she would not reveal the name of the magazine, as it is not her “vibe,” she added that she had turned down the opportunity because there are “TOO many elite Black creatives [right now] to not allow it”.

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After calling out the unknown publication, SZA then took the opportunity to acknowledge outlets that have hired Black photographers to shoot recent cover shoots with her, including Rolling Stone, Cosmopolitan, and Wonderland magazine.

“Shout out to @RollingStone, @Cosmopolitan and @Wonderlandmag [by the way] for all using Black photogs in our recent covers,” the singer-songwriter wrote. “Gotta celebrate when it’s RIGHT too.”

On Wednesday, SZA continued to address the incident, after the Shade Room posted about her tweets on Instagram. Taking to the comments section under the post, the musician wrote: “It’s not deep I just like the way my ppl SEE me. I love how we magnify us through our own unique gaze. It’s artful and magical. Just not into fitting ‘the white gaze’ [right now].”

She concluded the comment, which has been liked more than 110,000 times, adding: “Love and Respect.”

 (Instagram)
(Instagram)

SZA’s decision comes as outlets such as Vogue have only recently begun hiring Black photographers, with Tyler Mitchell making history in 2018 when he became the first Black photographer in the magazine’s history to shoot the cover.

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