'Badly lit' photos of Simone Biles has lead to calls for more Black photographers to be hired

Greg Evans
Sunday 12 July 2020 10:15
sport

A Vogue photoshoot featuring the world-renowned Olympic gold medalist Simeone Biles has come under scrutiny for featuring badly lit photos of the 23-year-old gymnast.

The photos were taken by the acclaimed photographer Annie Leibovitz but many including the including The New York Times national picture editor Morrigan McCarthy felt that the pictures did a disservice to Blies as she was dimly lit on dull backgrounds which didn't display any of the vibrancy and energy that she displays when competing in her chosen sport.

McCarthy was particularly critical highlighting problems with the tone of the photos and the crop and calling on Vogue to hire a Black photographer.

Others echoed her thoughts, with some using examples of other photographers who have taken pictures of Black and shown their skin tone to it's fullest potential.

Others chose to defend Leibovitz and pointed out that this wasn't necessarily a profile on Biles and her incredible achievements but a more troubling story on Larry Nassar, a former USA gymnastics doctor who abused Biles as well as hundreds of other female gymnasts for decades before being jailed in January 2018 for 40 to 125 years in prison for three counts of criminal sexual conduct. The case against Nassar is told in the Netflix documentary Athlete A which does not feature Biles however during her interview with Vogue she said:

I was very depressed. At one point I slept so much because, for me, it was the closest thing to death without harming myself. It was an escape from all of my thoughts, from the world, from what I was dealing with. It was a really dark time.

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