“That’s Gangster”: While Black Twitter Was Rightfully Bothered, Rihanna Had No Issue With Vogue Journalist Who Winged Interview
Last week after Rihanna’s latest Vogue cover dropped, a thread among Black journalist circles erupted on social media regarding access and privilege in regards to white journalists interviewing high-profile Black entertainers.
In the piece the interviewer, a white journalist named Abby Aguirre, admitted that she had no questions prepared for the superstar ahead of the interview.
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@badgalriri is our November issue cover star! She talks to @abbyaguirre about @fenty, that album you’re waiting for, being happy in love, and, oh yes, she has a few choice words for the president. Tap the link in our bio for the full profile. Photographed by @ethanjamesgreen, styled by @tonnegood, written by @abbyaguirre, Vogue, November 2019.
“Normally I bring a list of questions, but I didn’t have time to prepare one, which I make a split-second decision to confess,” she wrote.
Entertainment journalist Sylvia Obell was one of the main voices in the conversation, tweeting her frustration over the idea that a journalist would ever publicly revel in the idea of being unprepared, and also pointed out the fact that a Black journalist would never be able to live this down, let alone have the access to do so.
“Privilege is being able to show up to an interview w/one of the world’s biggest stars w/no questions written, admit it to said star, WRITE IT in the story, and the editor letting the line go to print b/c no1 is concerned it will make anyone question your ability to do your job,” O’Bell wrote.
In response to her dragging, Aguirre tweeted she was unprepared because she learned of the interview moments before she was supposed to meet the entertainment mogul.
“GUYS. I was driving to Trader Joe’s in sweatpants when I got the call and literally had to flip a b–h. I research my subjects to death. *Especially* Rihanna,” she wrote. “I appreciate the anger behind the reaction. But this is a misunderstanding, for which I take full responsibility.
Rihanna stayed pretty silent on the matter, but it seems like she’s sided with Aguirre the writer. In a separate interview with WWD who asked her about Aguire’s backlash Rihanna had this to say:
“Wait, wait, what? No, no, no, no. That’s gangster. For you to get a call the day before being like, ‘Hey, Rihanna’s in L.A., you wanna do this?’ And show up on the dime and write an incredible article that I’m really proud of and enjoyed reading? She’s badass for that,” Rihanna said.
“If you don’t have to prepare, girl that’s gangster,” she continued.
While the conversation that began on Black Twitter was valid and had many points which have been rehashed previously regarding the lack of opportunities and access for Black journalists, Rihanna has obviously left the chat.