An art school in France had to apologize after they were accused of doctoring a photo to make several white students look black.
The photo, from Émile Cohl art school, in Lyon, appeared on a promotional website for the US, presumably as a way to broaden their appeal. The college plans to open a new location in the states in the upcoming future.
The original photo was comprised of only white students, but a direct comparison of the two versions shows that several faces were photoshopped to appear black in the doctored version.
Additionally, two people of color were added to the crowd that do not appear in the original.
The school claims it was unaware of the manipulation until some fifth-year students that were in the photo brought it to their attention. The college is blaming it on the communications agency in the US.
In a statement, Antoine Rivière, the college director, said:
We had sent a certain number of documents to an American communications agency in order to highlight our college. This is the opposite of what Émile Cohl represents.
Here’s the original photo:
And here’s the photoshopped version:
Twitter users were taken aback:
— STIRGUS SACCHETTI (@stirgussa) September 13, 2018
— hasma begum (@hasma_begum) September 13, 2018
It’s true! Who spotted this?
— kumar (@mahendraila1955) September 13, 2018
And why would they do that?
— AGAM (@publord) September 13, 2018
I'm lost for words. What kind of fool would have come up with something like that?
— Captain Mainwaring (@ranglianjustin) September 13, 2018
Many commenters were outraged:
— Stuart Morgan (@Stu9891) September 13, 2018
OMG this is insanity
— Sonia Pervez (@SoniaPervez1) September 13, 2018
Hell, that's not “PC”, it's just straight-up stupid.
— Mike Flugennock (@flugennock) September 12, 2018
Though there were a couple of humorous jabs taken at the poor photoshop job:
Don't go to France to learn digital photography
— Andrei (@amagras) September 12, 2018
The school has since taken down the webpage where the photo appeared and issued apology letters to the students.