"Real Housewives of Atlanta" star Nene Leakes is on the cover of Ebony's Annual Power 100 issue, much to most readers' displeasure. The breakout reality star, who has snagged two major roles on Fox's "Glee" and "The New Normal" respectively, is seen on the cover bathing in diamonds and holding a glass of champagne. The photo spread includes a shot of her wearing a gown made of dollar bills. The editorial's theme is based on Leakes' newfound success and her now-famous phrase "I am rich b*tch. Very rich!"
Readers criticized the magazine for glorifying the reality star and questioned its credibility. Leakes is now firing back at the critics by posing the question: "How is Kim Kardashian any better than me?"
Leakes sat with The Daily Beast to express her thoughts on the negative feedback. Check out the highlights below:
Her comparison to Kim Kardashian: "It's OK for you to go pick up a magazine cover with Kim Kardashian. She's my girl. We are cool. We talk. We do drinks and all of that. But her story ain't no different than mine. You know what I mean? I might've worked at the strip club, but she made a sex tape."
On her right to grace the cover of Ebony: "I absolutely deserve to be on the cover. This cover is about money, power, and respect. And it's about a come-up story and I'm the one that had that story this year ... Not only did I come out as a reality star that was very boisterous and vivacious and outspoken and all those things. I flipped that into money and respect. And a lot of people can't do that."
On her lack of support from African American women: "But listen to me, definitely all of the negative feedback definitely came from my own; African Americans were the ones that were the most negative, and it's so funny to me because I would call [the editor] over at Ebony and she would say 'Girl please, glass houses. That's all it is. They don't want to see you on the cover, they don't really understand the reason why you're on the cover, they don't know your story."
Ebony's editor-in-chief, Amy Dubois Barnett, is also defending the magazine's cover girl:
"Those who take issue with reality television's role in pop culture have questioned whether Ebony made the right decision by glorifying one of its most popular characters. As the magazine of record for the black community, it is Ebony's role to both reflect the aesthetics and interests of our readership, and to inspire them toward higher aspirations for themselves and for all African Americans. The November issue featured the Obamas on the cover, and was a perfect example of the latter. The December/January issue featuring Nene Leakes on the cover is an excellent example of the former."
Do you think Nene Leakes' cover tarnishes Ebony's image?
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