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TV Guide Chief: Henson Was "Never the Focus" of Cover Story

0921_taraji_singleActress Taraji P. Henson took to Facebook yesterday to bemoan the fact that she wasn't going to be on the cover of TV Guide Magazine alongside her "Person of Interest" costars Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson.

The now-deleted post read: "WOW!!!! TV Guide is NOT including me on the cover with my cast memebers [sic]….....I am the female lead of a 3 member cast and I’m not included on the cover!!!!!! Do you see the [expletive] I have to deal with in this business…..I cram to understand!!!!"

Henson's post created a firestorm on the Web. TooFab spoke with Debra Birnbaum, the Editor-in-Chief of TV Guide Magazine and TVGuideMagazine.com, to see what was behind the decision to feature only the male stars.

"I made an editorial decision to do a story about the relationship between the two male characters on 'Person of Interest' and that's who I was going to put on the cover," Birnbaum tells TooFab exclusively. "That has been my decision all along, ever since I saw the pilot. We're certainly fans of Taraji Henson and her storyline on the show was never intended to be the focus of our cover story. I don't know where there was a misunderstanding about this, but it's been clear to everyone from the start. I don't make decisions on who is put and not put on the cover based on race or gender."

"This week's cover September 26 issue features the three stars of 'Charlie's Angels' -- Minka KellyAnnie Illonzeh and Rachael Taylor. We are not pursuing a cover of 'Person of Interest' at this time."

The lost cover means lost promotion for the CBS drama, which premieres Thursday night.

Was Henson's complaint justified? Tell TooFab in the comments below!

Comments (7)

dbduece:  1106 days ago

Oh, I don't know....she's only an ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE!!!!! whose gotten absolutely NO LOVE in the promos! How pissed would you be?

No need to bring race into the picture, hard as it is to do so but c'mon! Skins on the wall are skins on the wall and I think...correct me if I'm wrong here....that being nominated for an Oscar qualifies as a skin one would think would be worthy of promotion.

Or does this sound too much like over- paranoid race rant to you? (Funny how Birnbaum brings up the race card whilst no one else did)

Might as well start looking for a replacement for Henson's character now. This is not going to end well.

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dbduece:  1106 days ago

Oh, I don't know....she's only an ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE!!!!! whose gotten absolutely NO LOVE in the promos! How pissed would you be?

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Felicia:  1106 days ago

Yes..I believe that Taraji Henson's complaint was justified. Regardless if theTV Guide was mainly based on the two male characters Taraji Henson is one the the star cast also and should have been included in the story somehow even if she was not the story's main topic. Plot, plot lets get real. The plot was to use whatever part of the characters character on 'Person of Interest' that would fit what you all feel is important instead of outlining how the complete star cast of the show fit as one to make a wonderful story. Taraji Henson is not complaining because she is a black woman in a cast of men she has the right to defend her character as a person that deserves just a much recognition for her star role in the show as well as the other two star roles. If the show 'Person of Interest' is to be one of TV Guide's topics then you all need to cover the topics of the show not just the editors' choice of pieces to suit TV Guide. Try putting only two of the stars of 'Charlie's Angels' on the cover of TV Guide and see how fast that will be commented on negatively...Taraji Henson this is for you.."Recognition Of Your Worth Creates Confidence--Recognition Of Your Lack Creates Humility

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bebefj123:  1105 days ago

Taraji never mentioned race, she said the female lead. But, I doubt very seriously if Taraji was a white female lead, that she would have been eliminated from the cover, despite the article being about the 2 males. TV guide would have still included her if she was white and just wrote the article mainly about the men, which they should have done here. The show probably wont last long because I just saw another ad in yahoo, that once again omits Taraji. Its sexist and have racist undertones, her exclusion and TV guide is full of crap.

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Dmariejrzy:  1105 days ago

That's a lame excuse TV Guide!...If it was Angelina Jolie would this even be an issue? It's all relative...still in this day and age! Seriously...SMH

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cathie:  1105 days ago

Henson is a real prima dona. On every interview I've read/seen, she acts like she's queen of actresses, or something. She needs to get real - maybe donate some of her time to the homeless, or whatever her cause is, if she has a cause other than herself - and then come back into the spotlight with a little humility. Her attitude just might backfire on her!

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BetweenTheLies:  1103 days ago

TVGuide are the ones who need to get over themselves. When was the last time someone actually purchased that relic?? Funny how the person who responded to Taraji's sadness over not being on the cover did so in an infantile manner. Maybe that's the reason the last person I know who actually purchased a tv guide was my grandmother back in the 80's.

They're neither witty nor interesting, hence the decline of their readership AND bank account.

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