Please, Stop Boycotting People Because You Hate Its Trump Cover

Photo: Courtesy of People.
As somebody who voted for Hillary Clinton and is shattered in the wake of her shocking loss, the last thing I want to see is President-elect Donald Trump's smiling face plastered on a magazine cover. I abhor his personal behavior and political views and am devastated that he will be our president for the next four years, which is why People magazine's new cover story on Trump and his family makes my skin crawl. But I am not People's readership. I am not among the tens of millions of suffering, disillusioned Americans who cast their ballots for Trump in hopes for a better future — and neither are the celebrities calling for a boycott of the magazine in response to the divisive cover. Hollywood faces from Chrissy Teigen to Judd Apatow are protesting People on Twitter for the cover story, titled simply, "President Trump: His life, his family and his astonishing journey to the White House." "Fuck @people magazine. How disgusting. Selling their soul," Apatow wrote. "Celebs: do not give them your interviews or sell them your pictures," tweeted actress Zoe Kazan. "Readers: do not give them your money." The hashtag "#boycottpeoplemagazine" is trending as readers and non-readers join the protest.
I understand the visceral negative reaction, because I feel it too. This new reality is terrifying for me and millions of Americans. I also respect People's editorial decision to cover a history-making event that, for many of its readers, is not a tragedy but a victory. People does not publicize statistics on its subscriber base, but it's not outrageous to assume that a fair number of People's readers are white, middle-aged, middle- and working-class people — the demographics that came out in droves to, in many cases, express their frustration with the status quo and feelings of disenfranchisement by voting for Trump. (Yes, a number of them are disgustingly sexist, racist, and xenophobic, but more of them aren't.) Why wouldn't they want to see a cover story on the president-elect who just pulled off the biggest upset in modern political history?
And for those with the legitimate concern that People is turning its back on its own writer Natasha Stoynoff, who wrote a moving personal essay for the magazine about how Trump sexually assaulted her, the cover story actually recounts her piece. As People said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, "The story is not a celebration or an endorsement and we continue to stand by Natasha Stoynoff."
Even putting all of that aside, I have to ask: Aren't there better ways for Trump critics to affect change? To heal wounds, to make their voices heard, to fight back? It's easy to be angry. I am angry. But where is shaming People magazine for documenting the incredible — and newsworthy — event that just shook the U.S. going to get us? If you're as unhappy with the results of this election as I am, then please join me in not buying this issue, in despising this cover — and move on. Channel your energy into something bigger — into positive, forward-thinking action, an actual conversation or civic engagement. Because the truth is that us Trump critics don't have the time or energy to waste waging war on a magazine — one that, whether we like it or not, will be covering President-elect Trump and his family for the next four years.

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