Vogue apologizes for misidentifying activist Noor Tagouri as a Pakistani actress

‘Vogue’ issued an apology after misidentifying activist Noor Tagouri. (Photo: Twitter/voguemagazine)
‘Vogue’ issued an apology after misidentifying activist Noor Tagouri. (Photo: Twitter/voguemagazine)

Journalist, activist and speaker Noor Tagouri had been anticipating a life-changing feature in American Vogue after finding out months ago that she’d be included in the magazine’s February issue. But when she came across the publication on the shelves of John F. Kennedy International Airport on Thursday, she turned the pages to find her photo and instead saw an upsetting mistake — the Libyan American had been misidentified as Pakistani actress Noor Bukhari.

Tagouri took to Instagram to post a video of her reaction, where followers can sense her inevitable disappointment. Although she’s excited to simply see her face within the famous magazine’s pages at first, Tagouri expression quickly turns when she notices the misprint.

“I’m so heartbroken and devastated,” Tagouri wrote. “I have been misrepresented and misidentified multiple times in media publications — to the point of putting my life in danger. I never, ever expected this from a publication I respect so much and have read since I was a child.”

Tagouri goes on to point out that misidentification is “a constant problem if you are Muslim in America,” and is among the obstacles that she continually faces through her work as an activist. With this latest incident, she wrote that she feels “defeated.” Still, she continued the conversation on Twitter in order to educate people on what had just taken place. Tagouri even posted an email she sent to Vogue to ensure that there wouldn’t be an issue with mislabeling.

Soon thereafter, Vogue issued an apology on its social media channels.

“We were thrilled at the chance to photograph Tagouri and shine a light on the important work she does, and to have misidentified her is a painful misstep,” the post reads. “We also understand that there is a larger issue of misidentification in media—especially among nonwhite subjects.”

People responded to the incident on Twitter, sharing their own disappointment in the publication. However, one pointed out that the incident has since allowed Tagouri to do exactly what her job entails, which is to speak out against misrepresentation.

Tagouri reposted the magazine’s apology and noted that people should “teach, grow, build” from these mistakes.

“It isn’t always easy,” she wrote, “but this is why we keep fighting.”

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