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White guy from “Think like a man” explains why he wasn’t on the Essence Cover

By  |  166 Comments

Think Like a man- Gary Owens

Reported by Liku Zelleke

When ESSENCE magazine adorned the covers of its two issues for July with the cast of “Think Like a Man Too“, it can be safely assumed that they never thought that they would cause such an uproar. On the first cover were the men of the film while the second one had the female cast members.

Not every cast member was included in the two shots. Two people were missing: Gary White and Jerry Ferrara. They were the only two non-African American cast members and that was the point that ruffled the hit movie’s fans.

Twitter and Instagram messages raised the point that just because the magazine was aimed at black readers didn’t mean that it was OK to snub non-African Americans:

Swirljawn215 said: “Just because this is a ‘black’ magazine, intentionally disregarding the two white men from the movie is reckless. It’s 2014, Essence. It is ok to be inclusive of other races on the front cover, not just showing different shades of black #disappointed.”


Savagemama710 said:”If this had been a predominantly white magazine that left out the black cast members there would be an uproar. Our black is beautiful, but this is shady.”

But, as the world was criticizing the magazine, Gary Owen made it clear that he didn’t feel snubbed by ESSENCE. The comic, who is also married to a black woman, told The Jasmine Brand, “You know what? I didn’t even think nothing of it, until it got brought to my attention. It’s very rare that all of us guys have been included in everything, like, whether it’s an interview or a magazine.”

What actually amazed him more than being left out of the magazine covers was the fact that black people noticed and immediately said that it wasn’t right – and indication of progress, he says.

“I got taken back. It was kind of okay because it shows that as a society, we are progressing. That people would notice and people of color would notice something like that. A lot people think it’s one sided and it’s really not,” he said.


  1. Angelia

    June 30, 2014 at 7:17 am

    Lost in your negatively. Where does it come from?

  2. Heru

    June 30, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Why is it us fighting for their inclusion in our already screwed up community? I don’t hear white ppl screaming about it being unfair. HGA CRAP! Bet the white community isn’t losing any sleep over this issue.

    • Donna

      July 9, 2014 at 3:51 am

      I totally agree…This shit is crazy right?

  3. jaime love

    June 30, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Black people are ALWAYS left off out on the cover of “white” magazines! GTFOHWTBS!

  4. jaime love

    June 30, 2014 at 9:14 am

    *left out

  5. Bluebeard

    June 30, 2014 at 9:17 am

    U r right amerikkka will do to u people just about every chance they get !!! Look at over the centuries how black people been denied the right to anything he or she invented/created amerikkka stole the credit.[still is til this vry dsy]. And not once did anyone speak out in their behalf. But it goes to show how indoctrinated black people really r!!!

    • kjacqson

      June 30, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      I agree. We black people have historically been excluded from promotional coverage for projects where we have been cast members. And you are correct, whites have not spoken up/out in our defense however I commend us (black people) for possessing the God given attribute of innate compassion & humanitarianism. NO other race can compete. That makes me proud to be black.

    • Mz. Observant

      June 30, 2014 at 6:50 pm

      You are absolutely right. We are excluded in most things whether it pertains to us or not. One woman who is instrumental in helping medical research since her death in the 1950’s is a black woman by the name of Henrietta Lacks. She is the first person who was discovered to have immortal cells. Her cells has been used in biomedical research; and still to this day. It was discovered that her cells do not die. It is an incredible story as her tumourous cells from her cervix were taken from her body without her permission and used in medical research. Look her up: Henrietta Lacks or HeLa Cells. Most of us have no knowledge of this woman and the great contribution she has made to medicine and science.

      • Sister Black

        July 2, 2014 at 6:27 pm

        Awesome History…..Awesome Truth!!! This is what we should be discussing, this other stuff is so pointless.

    • JA8119

      July 5, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      Can you write that in English too Bluebeard?

  6. Dea. Steve Johnson

    June 30, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Just stop buying Essence and buy a magazine that fairly represents true makeup of cast. There will be others

  7. Bucktooth

    June 30, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Gary Owen is very funny..should be included!!

  8. marcus davis

    June 30, 2014 at 10:26 am

    What ! black folks are moaning about the white guy from a cast in a movie not being included on the front page of a magazine? I read some time back that the first movie not the sequel got banned in France because it was an all black cast,did,nt hear any black folks moan about that.Black folks in the 21st century are messed up.

    • Donna

      July 9, 2014 at 3:50 am

      Preach Brotha! I don’t understand these black people acting like house niggas! sad, sad shame

  9. Terry

    June 30, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Two wrongs don’t make a right. We shouldn’t engage in behavior against which we complain. If it’s wrong when they do it, it’s equally wrong when we do it.

    • Donna

      July 9, 2014 at 3:58 am

      Terry, regardless of if it’s wrong or right, what sense does it make for us African American people to give a damn and make a big deal out of it? You guys are so lost. Do you even realize how these non-black folks don’t give a damn about fighting for what’s right in regards to you? They wouldn’t give a damn if your black behind was left out of something white…just like they always do. They wouldn’t even put pictures of blacks on most white magazine covers, so why aren’t you making a big deal about that? But you go right ahead and keep cheerleading for these white guys to be on the cover of a black magazine and have fun. That didn’t even sound right when I typed it.Wake up people

  10. Benny Blaze

    June 30, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Essence was right in this situation,so why are people complaining because it’s a white guy!

  11. Devon

    June 30, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Nuccas just gon’ stay stuck on stupid.

    • Donna

      July 9, 2014 at 3:59 am


  12. keep it real

    June 30, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    If Gary Owens had a good part in the movie like the rest of the black male cast he should have been on the cover of the magazine just like everybody else… If I was Gary I would have felt a little funny…

  13. William L

    June 30, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Point blank,he should have been on the cover. CASE CLOSE.

  14. Seemespeak

    June 30, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Dudes wife is a bangin baddie. That’s Cubes boy.

  15. Dorothea Macon

    June 30, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    We always notice, but Caucasians are never in an uproar because their people neglected to include us! Get a grip!

    • Donna

      July 9, 2014 at 4:01 am

      That’s my point exactly!

  16. Chris40

    June 30, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Gary White and Jerry Ferrara being snubbed by Essence, I say so what!!!! Since Essence ain’t Black owned, maybe these dudes should be on the cover. Maybe Time Inc. will get on Essence about this. LOL

  17. Africa Houston

    June 30, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Both of them should be included but no big deal….and if that’s the case I don’t think it’s fair when the cast goes on a show Kevin Hart does all the talking and screaming for everyone nobody else says over 5 words max if not nothing at all

  18. Sandra

    June 30, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    The Blacks in mostly all white films are not are always on the cover of majority white magazines. So, get over it.

  19. Tyrone

    June 30, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    What ever happen to ” do on to other, has you want them to do upon you.” I guess it does apply when a white person is involve. We as black need to evaluate our know racism.

  20. SweetTweet

    June 30, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Essence is not owned by AAs. White folks own Essence. White folks left the two white guys off the cover.

  21. Nicole

    July 1, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Who is Gary White?

  22. lavar Battles

    July 1, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Essence & Ebony are the only non hip hop mags to feature black men on the cover! Black people let us have that! Whites dont care bout our movies or magazines!!!

  23. Jah Larry Dread

    July 1, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    I agree with Khen MoZhionē…When you pay your dudes your dudes…They should have been in the photo! When they posed for the photo, someone should have said,”Where is Gary and Jerry?”

  24. Jah Larry Dread

    July 1, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    “Think like a man” The movie title did not say “Think like a black man” or “Think like a white man”

  25. JDub81

    July 1, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Thank you Essence….can’t believe how black folks are reacting! Whites have been dogging black folks for over 400 years and we go ballistic cause a black magazine left acouple of them off. Gimme a freakin break! Where are these whining Negoes when white magazines have leavin us off the covers and inside their magazines for years? Not to say we going tit for tat but those whites weren’t included in the shoot…the world ain’t gonna end! I don’t believe there is any white popular magazine that has a photo of this cast on their cover….point me to one! Stop crying for white folks, trust me they’ll be alright….especially in this country.

    • Donna

      July 9, 2014 at 4:02 am

      Well said JDub81

  26. Wil May

    July 2, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Live and learn

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