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Naked and Pregnant Demi Banned By Some, Bought By Others

July 17, 1991 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ Vanity Fair’s August issue, which features actress Demi Moore naked and pregnant on the cover, has been banned around the country by some stores and sold out by others.

At least seven grocery store chains have decided against carrying the magazine, even though the issue was shipped wrapped in plastic with a piece of white paper covering Moore from the neck down.

Officials at chains that banned the magazine said it was too controversial and might offend shoppers.

But managers of stores where the magazine is on display said sales of Vanity Fair are brisker than usual.

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Giant Food Inc., which owns 153 supermarkets, isn’t carrying the issue, and most phone calls from the public support the decision, spokesman Barry Scher said.

″Many young children often go to the magazine section of the stores and they peruse magazines while waiting for their parents,″ Scher said.

The magazine’s concealing wrapper didn’t ease Giant’s concern, he said.

″They wouldn’t stay wrapped, as the magazine department is not supervised,″ Scher said. ″We don’t sell Playboy or other magazines that come wrapped. If they’re wrapped, there must be something offensive on the cover.″ Officials at stores carrying the magazine, however, have no regrets.

World Book & News Co. in Hollywood, which claims to be the largest 24-hour newsstand in the country, sold out 600 copies in six days. ″For this particular magazine, that’s unusual,″ said manager Mark Rose.

Rose said he removed the sheet of paper covering up the photograph before displaying the magazine. ″What’s wrong with that? I’ve seen more skin on the cover of Playboy,″ he said.

There’s also been a run on copies in Raleigh, N.C., where many of the local supermarkets belong to chains that aren’t carrying the issue.

″Most of our customers have been disgusted with the food chains for banning it from the store,″ said Janet Martindale, manager of DJ’s News and Books, which sold out its 50 copies within a day.

The magazine is doing very well nationwide at B. Dalton bookstores, spokeswoman Donna Passannante said. ″There’s been an enormous amount of publicity about the cover and people are interested,″ she said.

Sales of the magazine at Waldenbooks were more than three times higher than usual, spokeswoman Susan Arnold said.

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The cover photograph, taken by celebrity photographer Annie Liebovitz, shows Moore with one hand across her breasts and one hand under her bulging belly.

Inside the magazine, the 28-year-old actress is shown in lacy black underwear and high-heeled shoes; in a robe open at the waist to reveal her belly; and with her hands over her bare bosom in a head-and-shoulders shot.

Moore, whose films include ″St. Elmo’s Fire,″ ″Ghost″ and ″About Last Night,″ is married to actor Bruce Willis. The baby, their second, is due next month.

The chains that aren’t carrying the magazine include Safeway, Giant, Food Lion, Winn-Dixie, Kroger, Bi-Lo and Harris Teeter.

Safeway, the third largest chain in the nation, is located primarily in the West, but also operates stores in Alaska, Hawaii and the Mid-Atlantic region. Kroger is in 29 states in the Midwest, South and West.

Winn-Dixie operates the largest supermarket business in the Sunbelt and is the fifth largest chain in the nation; Harris Teeter, Food Lion and Bi-Lo also are principally in the South. Giant has stores in the Washington, D.C., area and Maryland and Virginia.

Hamilton South, a spokesman for Vanity Fair, didn’t return two telephone calls Tuesday.