Good God, What Was Variety Thinking With This Marissa Mayer-as-Jesus Cover?

Image: Variety
Image: Variety

Late on Monday afternoon, Variety co-editor-in-chief Andrew Wallenstein sent a tweet out into the world. This wouldn’t be a particularly noteworthy action, except that it included an image of what appears to be Variety’s upcoming cover, depicting Marissa Mayer as a Christ-like figure carrying a Y-shaped cross. What? Indeed.


Mayer is hanging out in what looks like some kind of desert environment, carrying a Y-shaped wooden cross on her back, her face etched with pain, embarrassment, or both. (Probably both.)

It’s unclear what, exactly, Variety is going for here, beyond an exercise in poor taste. Mayer died for our sins? Is her red suit supposed to symbolize the blood she’s spilled while at Yahoo? Does the skull on the ground represent the poor Yahoo shareholders screwed over by bad management and poor decisions? Marissa Mayer is tired? Marissa Mayer’s Zamboni ride wasn’t worth it? Marissa Mayer couldn’t handle lifting the weight of a massive, billion-dollar company? We should pray for Marissa Mayer?

It’s been about 20 minutes now, and I still can’t really figure out what’s going on, but if you have a better idea, feel free to leave it in the comments. It’s either that, or I’m going to get stoned and start throwing out some alternative interpretations.

We’ve reached out to Variety and Yahoo for comment, and we’ll update if we hear back.

Update: A Yahoo spokesperson provided the following statement by email: “Running that cover illustration is Variety’s own burden to bear.”


Update May 24th, 4:31 pm: The cover story is out, and it also includes an illustration that references Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” They really went all in with this theme!


Sophie is a former news editor at Gizmodo.


Alissa Walker