Comedians Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae and Sarah Silverman grace the cover of GQ's new comedy issue, each with a few extra arms and legs, mercilessly mocking Vanity Fair's epic Photoshop fail — but staffers at VF are failing to see the funny side.
The comedians pose in glamorous gowns, but a closer look reveals there are contorted arms and legs added into the image. The cover parodies the 2018 Hollywood Issue of GQ's fellow Conde Nast publication, Vanity Fair, on which Reese Witherspoon appeared to have three legs and Oprah Winfrey had an extra hand.
But, according to the New York Post, insiders say Vanity Fair execs are furious — because GQ apparently didn't give them any advance warning about the hilarious spoof.
A Condé Nast source said, "There is mass fury at VF today, the staff and editors are really upset. GQ is spoofing the VF cover which came out with all the Photoshop mistakes, the mysterious extra legs and hands attached to Oprah.
"But Jim Nelson, the editor-in-chief at GQ, never told Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Radhika Jones, or anyone else at VF, that he was planning this.
"They are being mocked by a sister publication, nobody told them in advance, and they found out about it at the same time as everyone else, when the GQ cover was released."
The Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue caused a Twitter storm back in January as fans pointed out the strange errors in the Annie Leibovitz photograph featuring a host of A-list actors.
Even Witherspoon weighed in, writing on Twitter, "I have 3 legs. I hope you can still accept me for who I am."
Oprah responded, "I accept your 3d leg, as I know you accept my 3d hand."
VF played it down with humour at the time, tweeting, "While we would have loved the exclusive on @RWitherspoon's three legs, unfortunately it's just the lining of her dress."
But the magazine did admit it overplayed its hand with Oprah and would correct the image online.
Meanwhile, on the new GQ cover, a random hand strokes Rae's shoulder, while the "Insecure" star appears to have a third, extra-long arm reaching around Silverman's body. Plus McKinnon's right leg is impossibly contorted over Silverman's shoulder.
There is also a random leg and hand added for extra effect, along with the tag line, "Hands down our best comedy issue ever!"
A rep for Vanity Fair declined to comment, directing us to the magazine's pun-tactic Thursday tweet about the GQ cover: "It's not going out on a limb to say we love Issa, Kate, and Sarah. Props to @GQMagazine for getting a leg up on this trend."
Nelson told the New York Post, "This is just a magazine gag, and yes, a tribute in parody. We dreamed it up in collaboration with three of the funniest comedians we know, so hopefully people have a laugh. I hope to see a forthcoming
fashion feature of men jumping in suits."
A editor's letter also pokes further fun at Vanity Fair.
The letter, titled "Mistakes were made," reads, "GQ would like to apologise to Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, and Sarah Silverman for the egregious mistakes made in the process of creating the cover for our 2018 comedy issue. … Our intention was to celebrate the three super-funny superstars, who are all that is smart and perceptive and riotous and necessary in comedy right now. We deeply regret that the results violated GQ's rigorous standards of editorial excellence and the laws of nature."
"In an effort to ensure that an error of this magnitude never happens again, and because this sounds like the right thing to say, GQ will be conducting a thorough internal audit of our cover-development process. To demonstrate our commitment to transparency, we will release the results of the review, quietly, in 17 months, on Medium.
"And to you, our respected readers, we know that GQ must work doubly hard to earn back your trust. Until then, we'll be ignoring our mentions.
"Come back to GQ.com next week to read the profiles of our three wildly talented, extremely two-handed cover stars. In the meantime, we'll be praying that Donald Trump tweets something about Chrissy Teigen in the next hour so everybody forgets all about this."
- additional reporting New York Post