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The EW Pride Cover Is the Stuff of Nightmares

a collection of LGBTQ icons meets for a party in the uncanny valley on EW's cover

Since we won’t be having any real Pride parades this June, Entertainment Weekly has decided to celebrate LGBTQ history with a terrifying gala in the uncanny valley instead. Their new “Pride Forever” cover is well-intentioned as a celebration of LGBTQ storytellers, but the choice to render that celebration as a distorted, weirdly heteronormative mural is … a choice.

Sure, everyone is stuck inside and we can’t do photoshoots, but it did you have to pivot to an oddly painted rendering of queer icons, including a few who should be allowed to rest easy in their graves? The cover is overwhelming, and the more you look, the worse it gets.

Why are there lesbians “coupled” up with gay men? Why could they not have switched Ellen DeGeneres and Kate McKinnon so that Ricky Martin’s hand was at least looped around a man’s waist? Why is the 6’4” RuPaul so short? Why is poor Lavenre Cox there all alone … but with her inhumanly long arm reaching out for Kristen Stewart, who looks nearly as scary as the baby from Breaking Dawn? Where are half the necks? Why is Cynthia Nixon’s head so big? Is that the Stonewall brick?

WHY DOES JOHN WATERS LOOK LIKE JOE BIDEN?

Luckily, we’re not the only ones dismayed, as Twitter immediately pounced on this juicy morsel.

There are some further questions about the choices made for the cover—while we can’t dispute Ellen DeGeneres’ place in LGBTQ entertainment history, she’s well, kinda terrible in popular culture at the moment (at least to her crew). That she’s holding Rock Hudson’s arm is … another choice. Did they have to have George Takei giving the Vulcan salute? And what’s happening with Ryan Murphy beside him?

Yes, it’s certainly wonderful that we even have Pride covers for at all (even when they come out three weeks before pride month kicks off). Especially when we’re all shut-in, it’s great to celebrate our community and history. EW chose an LGBT artist to create this cover but, uh … what were his instructions, and why? Did we have to bring dead people back? This could have been a great idea but I don’t know if the result is somewhat we’re proud of.

(image: Jack Hughes for EW)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.