Is Annie Leibovitz’s Hurricane Sandy Vogue Shoot Really That Bad?

January 17, 2013 | Marina Galperina

A brand new Sandy-themed Annie Leibovitz photoshoot over at Vogue is suffering a bit of a backlash right now. It’s understandable that this glamorous couture mugging may seem inappropriate in context, but it’s not like the models are strutting over hurricane ruins? As far as “controversial” fashion shoots, this isn’t that bad. The models are not posing topless with soldiers. They’re not wallowing in the oil spill. There’s no blackface…. Egh, remember that?

Wait, sorry, right. About that Sandy shoot. Are these first responders, firefighters, army reservists, medical personal and Con Ed workers being used “as props” or… is the magazine using these comparatively tame models to draw glossy attention to the heroes of Sandy… and raise $1.7 million for hurricane relief while they’re at it. Can fashion really use its powers for good without being exploitative… of real life?

I mean, short of the time Victoria’s Secret saved the same infantry that was features in this Vogue shoot. True story.

So… What’s more exploitative: This photoshoot or everyone’s Sandy ruins porn ever?