That's the conclusion that Rob Shuter comes to in the Huffington Post when he says that the tabloid covers that carried his famous face didn't move at the newsstand. Well, let's see how Brittany Murphy fares this week.
Sources with access to weekly sales numbers tell me that figures for last week's issues of In Touch, OK! and US Weekly, which all featured Tiger on their covers, were well below average. Only People, whose cover featured a sad looking Mrs. Woods, sold well.
Of course that means that people would rather buy the magazine with the pretty white woman on the cover than the one with the scary, scary black man. He continues:
Another editor, who asked to remain anonymous, told me something much more alarming: "With the exception of Oprah, no African-American sells magazine covers. Period. If Tiger were a white dude with this crazy messed-up, never-ending drama, the tabloids would be in heaven. They couldn't print magazines fast enough to keep up with demand."
Like some of the other experts Shuter spoke to, I think this is bullshit. Maybe this is just me being Pollyanna, but I find it hard to believe that when it comes to scandal people care about race. After all OJ Simpson—another black man with a pretty blond wife—was once the reigning tabloid king, and his skin as just as dark as Tiger's. The difference is, Tiger is no OJ. Simpson actually killed people and was the center of a protracted public trial. Tiger just had sex with a bunch of skanks.
A more likely reason that Tiger isn't selling magazines is because its sprawling non-narrative of meaningless bits about bimbos and divorce papers isn't suited well for the magazines. Also, we're all bored with this scandal. No matter how many stripper mistresses totter forward on their Lucite platforms, no matter how much money Elin gets in the divorce settlement, there is just hardly any news left to wring out of this rotting lemon. We barely even care that the sitting president got a BJ from an intern in the oval office, why should we spend our $3.99 on a magazine about a guy who fucked a bunch of waitresses from Hooters—especially when we've already met, picked on, and forgotten about all the waitresses thanks to the countless websites (including this one) that already covered it?
The true test would have come this week now that Brittany Murphy's death takes over the Celebrity Industrial Complex, but all the weeklies closed early due to the holidays, so she didn't make their covers. If she sold scads of magazines, that might just prove that pretty white ladies can soar where black golfers bomb. We that would have happened anway. Her premature death is sad, don't get us wrong, but she only had a handful of hit movies and was never a major celebrity. We've been bombarded with news about her since Sunday, and there's few details left to share that people will actually care about. We bet her sales figures would be just as poor as Tiger's, no matter how white they make her look.