Watch this interview on YouTube. It made me laugh, cheer and want to throw a stiletto-heeled shoe at the screen. This chap Sam Rubin – boring side-parting, suit, a bit full of himself – is an entertainment reporter on the American TV channel KTLA.
He interviews stars, live. Samuel L Jackson was on last week. Rubin got him all mixed up with that other black dude, Laurence Fishburne. Now Mr Rubin would never call Hugh Grant Colin Firth, or see Winona Ryder and Anne Hathaway as interchangeable. But you know how it is – all blacks, Chinese, Japanese, Asians, look alike.
(I am mistaken for the celebrity cook, Madhur Jaffrey, 80. A mistake, I can see, very easily made.)
London Fashion Week will have perhaps only one or maybe two black models and no one will feel any shame. Beauties of colour, like actors of colour, are all the same and representative. Naomi Campbell is not just a fab model, but the face of an unnamed ethnic tribe, African and Caribbean nations, a symbol of redress and equality.
As long as she and a few more sisters – Joan Smalls, Betty Adewole, Alek Wek – get to strut on catwalks, the fashion world feels content, untroubled by its proven failures of imagination and inclusivity. A friend who is in the fashion business overheard a fashion hack saying she just loved “Alek Adewole, the new Naomi”. See? Three for one.
As Jackson said sardonically to flapping Rubin: “We may all be black but we don’t all look alike.” Geddit?