Annie Liebovitz slammed over dimly lit Ketanji Brown Jackson portrait

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Annie Liebovitz slammed over dimly lit Ketanji Brown Jackson portrait

Annie Leibovitz accused of racism after legendary photographer accused of repeatedly failing to ‘properly’ light black female subjects after dodgy Vogue portrait of SCOTUS Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson

  • Leibovitz proudly shared her two photos of the Supreme Court justice on Twitter this week after they were published on Vogue’s website
  • She was immediately inundated with complaints about how dark they were
  • Some have accused her of repeatedly failing to ‘properly’ light up black stars
  • They compared the images to other dimly lit photos by Leibovitz of Simone Biles and Viola Davis
  • Leibovitz’s dark and moody style is well known and was also how he edited portraits of the Queen and the Royal Family

Celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz has found herself in a racism battle with critics of her dimly lit Vogue portrait of Ketanji Brown Jackson claiming it demonstrates her repeated failure to light black stars ‘properly’.

Leibovitz proudly shared her two photos of the Supreme Court justice on Twitter this week after they were published on Vogue’s website.

She was immediately inundated with complaints from critics who said that she failed to photograph Ketanji’s skin properly, instead making her look too ‘dark’.

Some have pointed to her past portraits of other black stars and public figures, saying she has a poor track record when it comes to showing them at their best.

Annie Leibovitz’s portrait of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson sparked controversy this week with some accusing her of not adequately lightening KBJ’s black skin.

Leibovitz proudly shared the photos on Twitter this week after they were published in online Vogue

Leibovitz proudly shared the photos on Twitter this week after they were published in online Vogue

Criticism of the photo was immediate on Twitter and by Friday The Daily Beast had also condemned the portraits

Criticism of the photo was immediate on Twitter and by Friday The Daily Beast had also condemned the portraits

The Daily Beast published a piece today by its Race and Identity reporter headlined: ‘Where Did Vogue Go So Wrong With Its ‘Historic’ Ketanji Brown Jackson Photo?’

Others slammed Leibovitz on Twitter.

“You just refuse to lift dark-skinned black women, huh?” asked one critic.

“All the resources in the world and so little thought spent on lightening dark complexions,” said another.

“It’s a pattern,” another fumed, sharing links to Leibovitz’s portraits of Simone Biles for another shoot.

Others said they ‘quick-fixed’ the images themselves with a quick round of smartphone retouching to lighten them.

The Daily Beast quoted black photographers who said they respected Leibovitz, but that a black photographer should have gotten the job because.

Others said that Leibovitz had a pattern of not properly lighting black female subjects

Others said that Leibovitz had a pattern of not properly lighting black female subjects

They used photos where black women are more vividly lit to try to show how they think Leibovitz 'failed'

They used photos where black women are more vividly lit to try to show how they think Leibovitz ‘failed’

‘For a magazine like Vogue and other top magazines… it would be nice to [use] A black photographer. There are many fantastic, skilled Black photographers.’

However, Leibovitz’s fans pointed out that her portrait of KBJ was no different from countless other dark, moody photographs in which the subject or subjects are white.

She used a similar style of editing in her photos of Queen Elizabeth and the royal family, and when she photographed Scarlett Johannsen for Vanity Fair in 2005.

Some also pointed out how Leibovitz would inevitably be cut off for lightening KBJ’s skin and would be accused of making the images brighter or cleaner.

Similar flat light can be seen in Leibovitz's portrait of The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in 2016

Similar flat light can be seen in Leibovitz’s portrait of The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in 2016

For years she used a dark moody editing on photos.  Above, Scarlett Johansson in Vanity Fair in 2005

For years she used a dark moody editing on photos. Above, Scarlett Johansson in Vanity Fair in 2005

The photographer did not immediately return DailyMail.com’s request for comment on Friday. Vogue did not comment.

The magazine has long been plagued with allegations of racism.

In September 2020, Anna Wintour sent an email to staff saying: ‘I want to say clearly that I know Vogue has not found enough ways to elevate and give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers and other creators .’

This was at the height of the BLM movement, when companies across America bent over backwards to avoid any allegation of racism.

Leibovitz, probably the most successful and famous photographer in the world, along with Vogue giant Anna Wintour

Leibovitz with head of Vogue Anna Wintour

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