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Vogue Brazil style director resigns over 'slavery'-themed photos from 50th birthday party


The photos drew criticism after being posted on Instagram

Image source: Alo Alo Bahia YouTune video screenshot

Vogue Brazil's style director has resigned after "slavery"-themed photos from her 50th birthday party caused an uproar on social media, BBC News reported.

One photo showed Donata Meirelles sitting on a "throne-like" white chair with black women dressed in traditional clothing standing on either side of her at the event in Salvador de Bahia, northeast Brazil.

The now-deleted image was reportedly posted on journalist Fabio Bernardo's Instagram account where other users cited the shot was racially charged.

"Hey @CondeNast, Donata Meirelles, the director of Vogue Brazil, had her birthday party inspired in 'Brazil Slavery Colonies' and even had black models dressed as slaves to use as photo props. Asking for a friend: does this align with your company's values? #VogueRacista" Instagram user Partido do Suco de Laranja wrote.

Brazilian TV host Rita Batista also posted the photo of Meirelles but added another image from the 1860s, which depicted a white woman flanked by two male slaves.

"The first one is from 1860," she wrote. "The second one is actually from 2019."

Batista added that the photo was reminiscent of the 19th century when a slave "was a luxury object to be shown publicly."

What did Meirelles say?

Meirelles has apologized and denied that the party was slavery-themed. She claimed that the women's attire and the "throne-like" chair were a nod to candomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religious tradition.

On Wednesday, she announced her resignation.

"At age 50, it's time for action. I've heard a lot, I need to hear more," Meirelles wrote.

What did Vogue say?

The magazine issued a statement about the incident on Instagram: "Vogue Brasil profoundly regrets what happened and hopes that the debate that has been generated serves as a learning experience."

The publication added that it would be creating a panel of activists and academics to help create content to combat inequalities, according to The Guardian.

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