Washingtonian Mag Under Fire for Lack of Diversity in 'I'm Not a Tourist' Campaign Photoshoot

May 14, 2018
Washington Monument

Photo Credit: © Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY


By Eyasu Delesa


Washingtonian Magazine has deleted the campaign from their social media pages. 

CEO Catherine Merrill Williams tells WPGC: "As a native Washingtonian, I am very sorry that our latest marketing campaign did not represent the wonderfully diverse city in which we live. This was the very beginning of a campaign in which all intentions are to include the many communities that make up our city. We solicited pictures from a diverse group of people and when the campaign is complete it will reflect that. We always appreciate feedback and our glad that people take the time to point out when we let them down."


Washingtonian Magazine recently released a line of T-shirts which say a "I'm Not A Tourist. I Live Here" across the chest. There was a major issue with their Instagram rollout, though. There wasn't one single black subject in the series of photos. 

The magazine is giving away the shirts with a subscription purchase and asking their customers to share their #ImNotATourist stories on social media. The glaring issue is the lack of representation in the photos that the magazine decided to post, as many people pointed out.

------ We LOVE seeing our new "I'm Not A Tourist. I Live Here." tees out and about in DC!! These Washingtonians are seriously rocking the look, plus they have amazing stories about what DC means to them and why DC is their H❤️ME --️ Tap on the photos above to check out their profiles and read their #imnotatourist stories -- And because we want to keep hearing these DC stories, we're offering our Instagram fam a special discount on these tees + a subscription to our magazine! ➡️ Go to washingtonian.com/25off (link in bio, too!) to get a FREE tee with your $18 subscription. Offer ends tonight! ✨ And don't forget to share your #imnotatourist look and story with us once you get your tee ❤️--️✨ . . . -- via #1: @dccitygirl #2: @diegodowntown #3: @blonde_inthedistrict #4: @dcfoodporn #5: @juliengarman and @erinkrespan #6: @wardrobe_oxygen #7: @myriadmusings #8: @_chriscruz

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Not only was there not one single black person, the magazine used only young subjects, as WPGC's Joe Clair pointed out.

#DMV these are screenshots from a @washingtonianmag IG post and the comments section. CHOCOLATE CITY WITH NOT ONE AFRICAN AMERICAN / BLACK and NO ONE OVER 30?! #TF #GENTRIFYMUCH #DontTheObamasLiveHere @urbanmediamaven

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As of this writing, there were nearly 300 comments under the post, most of which were critiquing the magazine for what seems like a blatant oversight.

"Why I have seen NO PPL OF COLOR in this campaign. If you need ppl I KNOW PEOPLE so there is fair representation of who lives, works, was born raised and SHOCKER have businesses here & there are families who have generations that always called here home ... where are they," WPGC's Poet wrote under the photo.

As of the 2017 census, black or African American people make up 47.7 percent of D.C.'s population. 44.6 percent of the population is listed as 'White alone.'

So, according to the numbers, this is still Chocolate City. You wouldn't be able to tell by looking at this Instagram post.

See more census stats here.

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