Some people apparently are still confused about blackface. Elle France beauty editor Jeanne Deroo, for one, learned the hard way when she donned a costume with an afro and blackface for a private party Saturday and posted a photo of herself on her Instagram account. When the backlash ensued, Deroo quickly pulled it down.
Deroo apologized on Twitter this week, saying, “I realise how much the fact of painting oneself brown is an offensive act. I didn’t realise the seriousness of my action when I went to a private party last Saturday evening, which the theme was “Icons” and I chose to embody Solange Knowles, of whom I am a fan. During this private party, I posted a picture of myself on my Instagram without intention of hurting anyone. I deeply regret and would like to present all my apologies. I would also like to indicate that this picture published in a private context does not involve in any way the french ELLE magazine I work for, and I am sorry for the prejudice it has caused.”
This is not the first time Elle has come under fire for a race-related matter. In January, the magazine held a "Women In Television" dinner in West Hollywood, but the event did not end without drama.
"Housewives of Atlanta" reality star and actress Nene Leakes was in attendance. Also in attendance was "The Walking Dead" actress Danai Gurira. Elle Magazine mistakenly captured a photo of Gurira on the red carpet and posted it on their Instagram account along with the caption, “@NeNeLeakes looking gorgeous in @alexanderwang and @hof_diamonds #ellewitv.” The magazine immediately received backlash before it had a chance to correct the error and delete the incorrect caption.
“Wow highly disappointed! Its bad enough that black actresses and black women in general are almost invisible in Hollywood and fashion, now a major fashion publication cannot seem to tell them apart [sic]. A huge fail Elle!” one black female commenter wrote.
“She is gorgeous. She is not Nene Leakes! We don’t all look alike,” another minority woman said.
Even Leakes, who wore a curve-hugging black dress, replied, saying , "@ The Elle Women in Television event! So funny how these event work! I’m glad I know who I Am.”
She then retweeted Elle magazine’s original tweet and commented, “Funny as hell” before saying “@ELLEmagazine so funny how you guys invite us & don’t know us apart.”
Elle Magazine eventually corrected the error, stating, “Apologies–clearly someone on our team needs glasses! The fabulous Danai Gurira looking stunning as ever!”