This Michael B. Jordan Photo in Vanity Fair Has People Upset — Here’s Why

This Michael B. Jordan Photo in Vanity Fair Has People Upset — Here’s Why

A picture is worth a thousand words. And sometimes a lot of those words are homophobic.

Last week, Vanity Fair published an interview with actor Michael B. Jordan and director Ryan Coogler. They’ve collaborated on two films now — Creed and Fruitvale Station. But, as an official picture of Jordan and Coogler from the Vanity Fair interview circulated online, a lot of disparaging remarks followed.

Here’s the photo in question:759e005986a6b8d95a7c1e77f771367e

The image of Jordan with his hand on Coogler’s head drew crude sexual and homophobic remarks from commenters on more than one Facebook page. When celebrity gossip blogger B. Scott, who runs LoveBScott, posted it on his Facebook, it garnered almost 300 comments, many of them negative.

Most spoke about their problem with the pose, saying the pose seemed emasculating and effeminate.

“No self respecting heterosexual males pose like this naturally,” one commenter wrote.d4f513444aebed76b14cefd1bef2bea8

Some other commenters were quick to clap back.d4f513444aebed76b14cefd1bef2bea81e11bf2c7f36a526b7268c1fddfa59a08

When blogger Son of Baldwin posted a response to the controversy that called out the homophobic remarks, most people agreed, but some people even engaged in homophobia on the Son of Baldwin Facebook page, which is a page about LGBT issues.

“Whether Jordan and Coogler are ‘just boys’ or something more: It shouldn’t matter,” the post reads. “Love between black people should always be celebrated given how much violence between black people is always encouraged.”

Baldwin began posting that he would delete any comment that equated the word “gay” with negativity. Some of the comments under his post were, however, very supportive of Coogler and Jordan’s embrace.

“This deep love is our salvation,” one commenter wrote. “We can love and not have it attached to sex/sexuality.”9b84ae747f5ffc2d696babbb7cfa9410

These comments might suggest that the black community is more homophobic than others, but that’s actually not the case. The most common anecdote used to point to black homophobia is the role black voters played in the passing of Prop 8 in 2008, a myth that was later debunked. Data showed that their voting was basically in line, if not a bit higher, than most other racial groups. To the contrary, black and Latino voters were directly responsible for passing marriage equality in Maryland four years later.

And most of the U.S.’s remaining anti-sodomy laws — which are unconstitutional and remain on the books more as a display of outright homophobia — are in majority white states.

So, no, this is not a black homophobia issue. It’s just a regular old #MasculinitySoFragile problem. Seeing two men embrace one another in a way that even suggests intimacy is sometimes still too much for America’s eyes.

Thankfully, not all of America.tweet2tweet0975c0085de14e81c2d85f385b46ac40

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17 Comments

  1. Mr. Fingers
    March 09, 07:46 Reply

    They can say whatever they like abt the pic but they should go and see the movie. Later african americans will be complaining of lack of diversity and inequality in hollywood,yet they dont support african american film makers and actors enough.

  2. bruno
    March 09, 07:51 Reply

    all i’m waiting for now is michael bae jordan’s response. he needs to shut these homophobic animals down…
    and that picture is life! ?? i’ll find a high quality version to use as my wallpaper.

  3. Max 2.1
    March 09, 08:10 Reply

    Nice Pic. Loved it the day I saw it on IG.
    Men are the most insecure people in the world. I still think black folks are more homophobic.

    • bruno
      March 09, 08:15 Reply

      the amazing thing is how the irony of decrying racism while embracing homophobia seems to be lost on the black american community.

      can they not not see that both are offsprings of the same hateful parent?

  4. Mandy
    March 09, 08:28 Reply

    Nawa o for people o. At first glimpse, all I saw was a beautifully taken pic, no undertones of emasculation or homosexuality. And that’s what I still see. Through what do these homophobic people look at life sef?

  5. ambivalentone
    March 09, 09:28 Reply

    #sigh The world has become a global Nigeria. Homosexuality is now the bogeyman, I worry soon that they wouldn’t wanna walk around members of the same sex for fear their intertwining shadows will be tagged ‘gay’

  6. Alves
    March 09, 09:29 Reply

    Michael Jordan, the person dreams are made of. *eyes PP and Bruno one kind*. Beautiful pic

  7. Delle
    March 09, 09:36 Reply

    Me, I don’t care what people are seeing, but lemme say what I saw in that pix…*taps mic* Well, that to me isn’t posing, it’s more like he was in the process of bending Ryan’s head for a quick bj when the shot was taken. Umm, well that’s my observation *drops mic and walks off the stage*

    OAN, fuck haters! Fuck them so badly with a spine-filled, steeled baton! #homophobesareliabletodieyoung

  8. #Chestnut
    March 09, 10:21 Reply

    Very sweet and affectionate picture. The other guy should have placed his left hand on Michael’s chest.lol #VanityFair tried it sha.

  9. Marc Francis of Chelsea
    March 09, 13:29 Reply

    What does this photo have to do with sexuality? They look like close friends who are there for each other more than anything.

    This is how the world mostly thinks of gay men. SEX SEX SEX. Because these straight men look vulnerable, they are being “emasculated” and “effeminised.” The women screaming are the ones I’m always baffled by. What’s so wrong with femininity? If it was a woman doing a traditionally male pose there would be no issue. They don’t see what they do to themselves in upholding patriarchy by demoting femininity.

    Besides that, proporting the hyper-masculine ideals of masculinity does a lot more harm than good. This is why your sons don’t cry, carry guns and run the streets. This is why they are emotionally unattached asshats that wreck lives the world over. They’ve been taught that they have to be “men” and this means never being vulnerable. I tire!

    • Delle
      March 09, 13:44 Reply

      Thank u so much Marc with this comment of yours. Like, I really do not know why a woman acting like a man is more appraised than a guy acting like a lady, seriously, why? I see the way butch girls are literally fanned in my school but the slightest hint of femininity in a guy is tagged ‘disgusting’, ‘off-putting’ and what have you.

      In this world of ours, two guys cannot take a picture in a cosy manner without being tagged all sorts, why? Are people that insecure of straight men or is there more to it? No one wants to be associated with being emotional anymore as that is tagged ‘gay behaviour’. The way the world is going, I fear homophobia isn’t just settled in these parts, the silent one over there is also pungent enough to make one end his controversy. It’s pathetic.

  10. Geeluv
    March 09, 14:15 Reply

    They won’t just let men be…

  11. KingBey
    March 09, 17:47 Reply

    The first time I saw the picture though, I thought they were partners. They look good together.

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