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At Elle’s Women in Television Celebration Thursday night at Soho House in West Hollywood, a major case of mistaken identity took place. The magazine confused “The Walking Dead” star Danai Gurira for “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” personality Nene Leakes, who was also in attendance.
“#NeNeLeakes looking gorgeous in #alexanderwang and @hot diamonds #ellewitv” the magazine posted to their Instagram, captioned underneath a photo of Gurira. The picture was eventually taken down before getting uploaded again with the caption: “Apologies—clearly someone on our team needs glasses! The fabulous Danai Gurira looking stunning as ever!”
omg! was inside the event and had the pleasure of sitting in between Leakes and Gurira, both of whom handled the mix up with the utmost class.
Leakes, who currently also stars on NBC’s new recently GLAAD Media Award-nominated hit show “The New Normal,” was alerted to the incident via social media. She leaned over to show Gurira the photo and both women just laughed it off.
“I mean—look at my hair. I’m blonde!” Leakes said. Gurira responded with another joke and the incident didn’t ruin anyone’s night. Leakes even posted the following on Twitter:
@ The Elle Women in Television event! So funny how these event work! I'm glad I know who i'am
— NeNe Leakes (@NeNeLeakes) January 25, 2013
While sources told omg! it was an honest mistake, the misidentification of the African-American actresses is just one example of a bigger issue in Hollywood that has outraged many fans and has sparked an online debate.
“I guess all black women look alike huh??” user “thelovelythings” posted on Instagram. “In what world do Nene Leakes and Danai Gurira even look remotely the same @ELLEmagazine? Please stop with the bulls--t excuses & apologize,” Sly M tweeted.
“Wow highly disappointed! Its bad enough that black actresses and black women in general are almost invisible in Hollywood and fashion, now a major fashion publication cannot seem to tell them apart. A huge fail Elle! But with that I’ll ‘chuck’ one up to ‘Everyone makes mistakes’ - we all do” Instagram user “chiclovestyle” commented.
Get in on the conversation: should this be filed in the “honest mistake” category? Or is this just one example of a bigger problem about representation in Hollywood?
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