Essence Magazine debuted two covers for the July issue featuring the cast of the upcoming romantic comedy Think Like A Man Too. The covers—one with the film’s women, another with the men—are apart of the magazine’s “body issue” and features a fun, summer-inspired theme. Although both shots are gorgeous, some fans are upset the films white cast mates are missing.

Think Like A Man Too features a majority Black ensemble cast, including Taraji P. Henson, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Gabrielle Union, and more. But the film, which is the follow-up to the 2012 hit, also features two white actors, comedian Gary Owens and Entourage’s Jerry Ferrara. Both were left out of Essence’s spread, a fact many fans noticed when the publication shared its covers on Instagram.

Some vocal fans called the move “disappointing,” while others urged the mag to “grow up.” Some readers wondered if Essence’s decision not to include Think Like A Man’s white cast mates was unfair, and if “white” magazines would be able to get away with a similar move (I guessed they missed this).

While we don’t know for sure why Owens and Ferrara weren’t included in the spread, one thing that separates Essence from other magazines is its explicit mission to put Black folks first.


Though other glossies like Glamour, Marie Claire, and Vanity Fair sometimes feature Black entertainers and models on the cover, they do so to be inclusive—something Essence has never pretended to do.

Despite being owned by Time, Inc., Essence is a Black magazine. It’s editorial staff is Black, its founders are Black, and its audience is Black.

In a world in which Black people on the covers of “mainstream” magazines is still considered a big deal, I don’t have a problem with Essence sticking with its mission to put Black people, and particularly Black women, first.

But what do you think? Should Essence have included Think Like A Man Too’s white cast mates? You tell us!

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  • 9Boots

    Being that Garey Owen is the only man on the cover actually married to a BW in REAL life and is not just selling a fantasy….HE NEEDS TO BE ON THE COVER! BTW, Steve Harvey, Kevin Hart, and Micheal Ealy ain’t getting none of my money.

    • Xiolito

      Lol, so true!

    • 9Boots

      A girl gotta stay on top of these things. = )

  • Ms. Vee

    Behold the happy beneficiary of Essence Magazine. But yet people want act like Essence is for black women….it’s for black women’s money. Nothing more….just saying.


  • Shanae

    I don’t really care that the white cast members were left off the covers – didn’t even notice until I read this post. I don’t think they should have been put in the movie to be honest. Predominantly white films do not find it necessary to cast a few token Blacks to grab that Black audience, so why do “Black” film directors or screenwriters find it necessary?

    • Angela Pittman

      I agree with you completely. I am slightly confused as to why people are becoming upset that the white actors weren’t on the cover of a BLACK magazine. Point blank simple, there would be not as much debate about this if the tables were turned. It’s a sense if need to validate the Anglo-Saxon race as though they do the same for us on a daily basis. That’s were majority of our issues stem from. People need to understand it is a BLACK magazine and that’s the end to it.

  • neither ben nor jerry

    I could care less that whites are not included in an “ethnic magazine”, and it doesn’t even bother me that it would be considered racist for whites to have an ethnic magazine. (After all, we are still trying to live down that whole Hitler thing.)

    What is annoying though is the INSISTENCE of fallacious reasoning by Liberals whenever they get ready swipe their race card.

    The article tells that it’s different when black magazine does it (pretty soon we’re going to here that the laws of time and space are different for black ppl) because Essence has never (“never” is put in bold as an attempt strengthen weak argument)
    “pretended” to be inclusive.

    I see, so now, not only do you people gather outside of a magazine headquarters with megaphones if they are not inclusive, but when they agree to do so, you imply that this makes them sell-outs.

    It’s the usual argument: If a white person won’t let a black person sh1t on their face, then they’re racist, because white people deserve to have someone sh1t on their face. And of course, the white liberals are first line. “Is this the face sh1tting line? Can’t wait to prove I’m not racist!” And black people are like, “Get ready, cuz I’m gonna squat down.”