With a movement towards inclusivity considered, true diversity has still to become standard in most industries. When it comes to media, it’s no secret there’s still ways to go. Vogue magazine is prime example.
Despite rolling out 12 issues every year for 126 years, it was just a few months ago that the magazine saw a black photographer shoot its cover—even then, Tyler Mitchell was only offered the opportunity at Beyoncé’s request.
After being asked to be featured in the magazine’s latest issue, Muslim-American journalist Noor Tagouri saw the offer as a mark of progress. Once she had her hands on the freshly printed issue yesterday however, she found herself devastated once realising she had been misidentified as Pakistani actress Noor Bukhari.
The young journalist, activist, and speaker took to her Instagram to express her disappointment, writing: “I have been misrepresented and misidentified MULTIPLE times in media publications – to the point of putting my life in danger. I never, EVER expected this from a publication I respect SO much and have read since I was a child. Misrepresentation and misidentification are a constant problem if you are Muslim in America. And as much as I work to fight this, there are moments like this where I feel defeated.”
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I’m SO heartbroken and devastated. Like my heart actually hurts. I’ve been waiting to make this announcement for MONTHS. One of my DREAMS of being featured in American @VogueMagazine came true!! We finally found the issue in JFK airport. I hadn’t seen the photo or the text. Adam wanted to film my reaction to seeing this for the first time. But, as you can see in the video, I was misidentified as a Pakistani actress named Noor Bukhari. My name is Noor Tagouri, I’m a journalist, activist, and speaker. I have been misrepresented and misidentified MULTIPLE times in media publications – to the point of putting my life in danger. I never, EVER expected this from a publication I respect SO much and have read since I was a child. Misrepresentation and misidentification is a constant problem if you are Muslim in America. And as much as I work to fight this, there are moments like this where I feel defeated.
A social media storm ensued, Vogue Magazine quickly responded by issuing a statement to Tagouri on Instagram apologising for what they described as a “painful misstep”.
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In the February issue of Vogue the writer and activist Noor Tagouri (@noor) was misidentified in a caption as “actor, director, and model Noor Bukhari.” We are sincerely sorry for the mistake. We were thrilled at the chance to photograph Tagouri and shine a light on the important work she does, and to have misidentified her is a painful misstep. We also understand that there is a larger issue of misidentification in media—especially among nonwhite subjects. We will try to be more thoughtful and careful in our work going forward, and we apologize for any embarrassment this has caused Tagouri and Bukhari.