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Sports Illustrated causes controversy

New photos causing a stir.

By Kim Anne Feb 15, 2013 9:37PM

Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
Sports Illustrated is getting a lot of attention this week, but not just for their stunning “Polar-esque” magazine cover of model Kate Upton—its seems they may have gotten themselves into some hot water with some of their images. 

Website Jezebel is accusing SI of using minorities as "props" in a batch of photos, which show models in bikinis spanned across all seven continents in the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. 

“Using people of color as background or extras is a popular fashion trope, whether it's Nylon magazine, the Free People catalog, British Vogue or J. Crew,” writes Jezebel. “But although it's prevalent, it's very distasteful.”

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The site spotlights particular images that appear to be portraying racial stereotypes, such as a picture taken in China which shows model Anne V. as she “reclines as a local man uses a pole to propel a raft. A white person relaxing, a person of color working. Tale as old as time,” says Jezebel. “A non-white person in the service of a white person. This photo cements stereotypes, perpetuates an imbalance in the power dynamic, is reminiscent of centuries of colonialism (and indentured servitude) and serves as a good example of both creating a centrality of whiteness and using "exotic" people as fashion props.”

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Sports Illustrated has declined to comment about the controversy thus far. 

Tell us: do you think these photos are problematic? 

Bing: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2013

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Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Feb 17, 2013 7:24AM
They are in China showing a local man doing something which is probably his real job, get over it people, really!
Feb 16, 2013 8:45PM
More political correctness from the left.

Everyone knows why the photos are viewed.
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