Cecil Beaton was a great photographer who got access to some of the rich socialites of the twentieth century who worked on both sides of the Atlantic. However with war looming in Europe he found himself working for American Vogue and then being sacks for his anti semitism. Rather than re-write something, I am going to just paste the page from Goldwyn: A Biography.
THE FEBRUARY 1, 1938, issue of American Vogue ran an article by Frank Crowninshield called “The New Left wing in New York Society.” It was about Manhattan’s “Café Society,” a “newly formed, colourful, prodigal, and highly publicized social army, the ranks of which are largely made up of rich, carefree, emancipated, and quite often, idle people.”
Bordering the opening two pages of the piece was a pen-and-ink montage by Cecil Beaton. On one side he sketched symbols of old money: a manor house, portraits of ancestors, classical music, volumes of Shakespeare and French poetry; on the other he drew satirical nightclub scenes, a blaring jazz band, scandalous newspaper headlines, and Walter Winchell’s column. At the bottom of that page, in minuscule handwriting, Beaton’s marginalia trespassed into vulgarity. “M. R. Andrew ball at the El Morocco brought out all the damn kikes in town,” read the microscopic caption to his cartoon of a magazine society page; and in print just as fine, he wrote “Party darling Love Kike” on a Western Union telegram. Then on some cards and telegrams in and around a box of orchids—legible only by turning the magazine upside down and putting one’s nose to the page—Beaton wrote, “Why is Mrs. pelznick such a social wow? Why Mrs. Goldwyn etc. Why Mrs. L. B. Mayer?” Walter Winchell learned of Beaton’s act of veiled anti-Semitism as the first copies of the magazine were hitting the street, and he took Vogue to task in his column. Until then, publisher Condé Nast had not known of Beaton’s cryptic comments. Some 150,000 copies had already been shipped, and nothing could be done about them; the remaining 130,000 were reprinted with the objectionable lines expunged. Cecil Beaton—one of Vogue’s standard-bearers—was discharged, his work banned from the pages of all Condé Nast publications. Privately, Beaton referred to the incident as “a wretched little foible,” a joke; three months later, he asked Nast to reinstate him. Three years would pass before Nast relented.
A Kike is a derogatory American slang term for a Jewish person. It first started to appear in the 1880s following the Russian pogroms when jewish people were attacked and hounded out of towns, starting in Warsaw. Many of these families had names ending with Ki… (s)Ki