Edward Enninful says racial profiling case at British Vogue headquarters was not an ‘isolated incident’

‘It’s not the first time and it certainly won’t be the last,’ says editor

Sarah Young
Tuesday 04 August 2020 10:50
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Edward Enninful says racial profiling case at British Vogue headquarters was not an 'isolated incident'

Edward Enninful has said the recent case of him being racially profiled at work was not an “isolated incident”.

Last month, the British Vogue editor, who has been in the job since 2017, revealed that a security guard told him to “use the loading bay” as he arrived at the magazine’s headquarters in London.

“Today I was racially profiled by a security guard whilst entering my work place," the editor wrote in a tweet at the time. “As I entered, I was instructed to use the loading bay. Just because our timelines and weekends are returning to normal, we cannot let the world return to how it was. Change needs to happen now.

“It just goes to show that sometimes it doesn't matter what you've achieved in the course of your life: the first thing that some people will judge you on is the colour of your skin.”

Now, in a new interview with CNN, Enninful has opened up about what happened and revealed it was not the first time he has been racially profiled.

“As a black man it's not the first time I've been profiled and it certainly won't be the last,” he said.

“But also, it wasn't an isolated incident.”

When asked if something like that had happened before in the Vogue building, Enninful replied: “Yes, it wasn't an isolated incident.”

Enninful added: “Had I been younger I might have been so upset I wouldn't be able to say anything, but now I can talk about it.

“I've got the platform to speak about it and I don't want this to happen to the next generation, to think it's OK, that kind of behaviour.”

In the interview, which marked the September issue of Vogue, Enninful also discussed his vision for the magazine and how he was working to make it more inclusive.

The September issue features England footballer Marcus Rashford and model Adwoa Aboah on the cover for an edition that celebrates activists.

Enninful said that Vogue's London office recently hired a diversity and inclusion officer, saying: “I won't stop until everyone is equal.”

Responding to a question about Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour's record on diversity and parent company Conde Nast's culture in general, Enninful said he can only speak for the British arm of the operation.

“Here in this building in England, we don't take diversity lightly, or inclusivity, or unconscious bias, or micro aggressions. We tackle this every day. We've just brought in a diversity and inclusion officer,” he said.

“So I can speak for England and say I won't stop until everyone is equal.”

Enninful also said he wants the publication to reflect what is going on in the wider world and talk about subjects such as racism, unemployment and climate change.

“Every month we try to reflect what we see in the world out there,” he said, adding that the industry-wide slowdown caused by the pandemic had “made all of us think and take a deep breath”.

Enninful added that there are currently “too many seasons, too many shows” and “so much waste”, before saying now was the time to reset “not just the environment, but also our minds, our perspectives”.

The September issue of British Vogue will be available on newsstands and digital download on Friday 7 August.

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