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Michelle Williams is on the cover of AnOther magazine this month and in one photo, she is featured as a Native American character. Like other recent instances of celebrities dressed up as Native Americans, this has been widely criticized as racist, but the British magazine issued a statement saying that it never intended for that interpretation.
The New York Daily News reports that the black & white photo shows the Oscar-nominated actress with thick braids and a feathered necklace. She’s also made up to look Native American.
However, in a statement to E! News, AnOther sent out a statement that said they “recognize the seriousness of this debate, the image in question in no way intends to mimic, trivialise or stereotype any particular ethnic group or culture.”
It noted that Williams dressed as eight different imaginary characters for the issue that were “inspired by multiple fashion and cultural references, characters and eras, as well as by our admiration of Ms. Williams as one of the most respected and talented actresses of her generation.”
AnOther concluded, “While we dispute the suggestion that the image has a racist subtext in the strongest possible terms, we're mortified to think that anyone would interpret it that way.”
This follows other recent charges of racism towards Native Americans. No Doubt had to pull a music video after complaints, while Victoria’s Secret was forced to apologize for a model wearing a Native American headdress.
Williams stars in Oz The Great and Powerful.