Condé Nast’s Vogue Magazine apologized on Thursday for misidentifying journalist and activist Noor Tagouri as Pakistani actress Noor Bukhari in a recent photo shoot after Tagouri’s “heartbrken and devastated” reaction to the gaffe was captured on video.
“We are sincerely sorry for the mistake. We were thrilled at the chance to photograph Tagouri and shine a light on the important work she does, and to have misidentified her is a painful misstep,” Vouge wrote in a statement.
Vogue continued: “We also understand that there is a larger issue of misidentification in media — especially among nonwhite subjects. We will try to be more thoughtful and careful in our work going forward, and we apologize for any embarrassment this has caused Tagouri and Bukhari.”
Tagouri tweeted video captured by a friend, who was filming the activist opening the magazine to catch what was supposed to be the excitement of being featured in the photo spread. Instead, Tagouri quickly noticed she was misidentified by the struggling magazine.
“I’m SO heartbroken and devastated. Like my heart actually hurts,” Tagouri wrote. “I’ve been waiting to make this announcement for MONTHS. One of my DREAMS of being featured in American @VogueMagazine came true!!”
Tagouri was photographed wearing a $2,500-plus outfit by Givenchy for the spread headlined, “The Season’s New Shirting: Trim, Tailored, Bold and Belted.”
“My name is Noor Tagouri, I’m a journalist, activist, and speaker. I have been misrepresented and misidentified MULTIPLE times in the media – to the point of putting my life in danger. I NEVER expected this from a publication I respect SO much and have read since I was a child,” she wrote in a follow-up tweet. “Misrepresentation and misidentification is a constant problem if you are Muslim in America. And as much as I work to fight this, there are moments like this where I feel defeated.”
Back in 2016, Tagouri appeared fully clothed in Playboy, becoming the first time the magazine ever published a photo of a woman wearing a hijab. At the time, she said the hijab has helped her create trust with her interview subjects as a reporter. She says as a Muslim woman, she knows “what it’s like to be misrepresented in the media.”
Condé Nast’s Vogue and other print publications have struggled amid a shift in the publishing industry that has devastated the magazine industry. In recent memory, Condé has closed the print editions of Glamour, Teen Vogue, Self and Details. The New York Times reported in November that Condé Nast lost more than $120 million in 2017 while consolidating a variety of departments.