Michelle Williams accused of racism after dressing as a Native American for AnOther magazine cover

Michelle Williams has been accused of racism after appearing to dress as a Native American on a magazine cover.

 The American actress donned a series of eye-catching outfits for British magazine AnOther, including one showing her in long braids, beads and with a feather in her hair.

The cover went viral as blogs labelled it 'offensive', 'racist' and 'sterotypical' and demanded an apology.

New York based online magazine Refinery29 slated the cover, stating: 'We can't believe how offensive Michelle Williams' latest cover is.'

'They added super-long, thick, black extensions and braided them — and darkened her eyebrows,' they wrote. 'Then there's the makeup.

'The photo is in black-and-white, so you can't tell for sure if they've altered her normally fair skin, but there is some definite contouring around the nose and the cheekbones that not only makes her look nearly unrecognizable, but also appears to mimic the stark relief of facial features often seen in early portraits of Native American women.

'The same mimicry applies her stoic, unsmiling pose - also a typical trope in that particular genre and period of art history.'

Feminist blog Jezebel was equally incensed.

'Am I glad that unlike most racist, stereotypical caricatures of American Indians in pop culture today, Michelle is not practically naked? Yes — but just as Blackface is never okay, Redface is never okay. Ever.'

Taking their outrage even further they labelled Wizard Of Oz author Baum a white supremacist and compared the magazine to Hitler's Mein Kampf.

'Falsely aligning Native imagery with L Frank Baum is akin to putting a picture of a Gentile in a stereotypical Jewish getup on the cover of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf.

'AnOther Magazine and Michelle Williams have made a serious blunder here. The cover should be pulled, and all parties involved owe the American Indian community an apology.'

The Huffington Post also waded into the debate, writing: 'While not everyone might be offended, there have been all too many instances of fashion professionals ruffling feathers with ill-conceived Native American-inspired projects.'

A publicist for the 32-year-old did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The actress is not the first to accidentally offend the Native American community.

Victoria's Secret was forced to apologise after dressing model Karlie Kloss in a feathered headress and face paint as she strutted down the runway in her underwear at their show last year.

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Responses to "Michelle Williams' 'Redface' On AnOther Magazine Sparks Controversy"

  1. Anonymous says:


  2. Unknown says:

    People are too easily offended anymore, grow up and get a life

  3. Rindy says:

    I don't like it. I think what it is that bothers me is the alignment of Oz with Natives...Considering Baum was a HUGE advocate for the Termination and Assimilation act. I do have a "life" Vic, and my "life" doesn't include squashing an ethnicity that is NOT my own; however, it does include standing up for my people. Offended to easy? I think not. Complacent with the commonplace racism has found in our society (like you) Hiding behind statements like yours...again I think not...perhaps, you sir, need a "life" a cause...a reason to live.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Since when is the "Tribal Look"i.e.~braids ,beads,feathers,talismans~exclusively claimed by Native Americans?~There were many European Tribes who wore their hair in braids,& wore beads,feathers animal skins & talismans~long before the Americas were exploited by the Euros,same goes with Africa~The truth be known~We were ALL once a Tribal People~just some folks lost their way~and forgot their True Natures after being slaved~

  5. Unknown says:

    she's an AMERICAN from MONTANA....get your facts straight.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Personally, I think she is quite beautiful in this picture. If she is trying to portray a First Nations woman, then good for her to portray her as a strong person in this photo, who strikes me as coming across as a woman who will not be held down, but is willing to fight for her equality and the strength that is within her.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Funny how those who generally say get over it are those who have never had to "get over it" and are those who are doing the offending

  8. Anonymous says:

    its a fine line....when i find a feather on the ground i like i put it in my hair....its a natural act for me....and i used to have braids...i like the comment from anonymous about europeans also having been tribal....black face is completely different

  9. Rindy says:

    Dan, then why can't she do that Blonde? Especially, since there were European tribes (which being of mixed descent I advocate the tribal-ness of both nations). Why did they have to alter her nose and cheekbones? I think white people should be a lil more angry than they are....this picture to me says they (white women) aren't strong, aren't beautiful, are worthy of nothing more than changing their appearance....as the Dali Llama says "If you consider one, you must consider the other"

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is CULTURALLY offensive to all indigenous people who have been INTERNED, ASSIMILATED, or ETHNICALLY CLEANSED by Americans, and Europeans. Vic you need to read the true History of what America has done!!!!

  11. Rindy says:

    Anonymous says "Since when is the "Tribal Look"i.e.~braids ,beads,feathers,talismans~exclusively claimed by Native Americans?~" Ummm since she is depicted with thick, long, black braids....not red, blonde, or nappy....straight, black braids.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I really don't get it why it should be offensive. I would say that she pays tribute to the Native Americans

  13. kris np says:

    If it offends one, it offends all. Pull the cover.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Pay tribute? Lolz. Nobody is honored by ignorance.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The sad thing is how so many non-natives don't "get it". If you're not native, you don't get to decide for us what's a 'tribute' or an insult. I'm personally more offended when people say, "You should be honored.". This sort of thing is hurtful to ALL of society because it produces thoughtless dolts like Vic Davis. I'm a grownup with a life, Vic-why don't you go eat some more paint chips?

  16. Anonymous says:

    I don`t get it. Maybe because I`m not American or because the only Natives I know are blondes? I used to look like that when I was schoolgirl. And many other girls as well. It wasn`t tribal (although historically that`s how unmarried village women looked like) , it was just a fashion of the time and preferred by teachers style of hairdress. And yes, some girls in my European country have black hair, darker skin and more prominent cheakbones. And we also have tribal people who wear braids and beads and they are proud of their culture. Of course, history is different here. Nobody ever persecuted them, they are free to cultivate their customs and language and they are highly respected. Seeing this cover I would never associate it with just Native Americans. And even if- why for God sake do you think looking like Native American is racism? According to european logic it would be racism to not allow the cover because she lookes like Native American...

  17. Anonymous says:

    Anyone can wear their hair in braids. Anyone. Anyone can have a feather in their hair. Anyone. There are racists and trolls on every side of this equation.

    Sometimes, in fact many times there are good reasons for people to feel offended. Like when the U.S. government breaks every single treaty it ever signed with Native Americans. Like when they fail to carry out all of the promises that were made. How about getting real here people?

    Who cares what some ditzy fashion magazine cooks up. What's important is the question of how many Native Americans are freezing to death tonight.

    Also for those who care to do a little homework, Europeans also have Native roots. Before there was Jesus in Europe there was Native religion. Before the Arabs gave Europe science, there was Native religion. Why can't you cry babies find something worthwhile to cry about?

  18. Unknown says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  19. Unknown says:

    i especially hate it when they say "pays tribute".....you cannot pay tribute to a nation of people who were killed so this american dream can be lived by the likes of michelle williams, who is obviously confused and ashamed of her whiteness and lack of cultural identity.

  20. Anonymous says:


  21. Anonymous says:

    So. No one can wear their hair in braids or put a feather in their hair without offending full bloods??!? I think she is beautiful in the picture, just like many women are beautiful in other pictures, this includes many native american women I've seen.
    I'm having trouble understanding. If beautiful Native women want to be models go to New York where there rest of those skinny women go have unrealistic lives and have pictures taken.

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