in News | 14 SEP 18

White Students Photoshopped to Look Black in French Art School Advert

A PR agency darkened white students’s skin and digitally inserted black students into a class trip photo

in News | 14 SEP 18

Compare and contrast: the original photograph. Courtesy: Twitter
The doctored photograph. Courtesy: Twitter

The Émile-Cohl art school in Lyon, France, has issued an apology after a promotional photograph was found to have been digitally manipulated to show more black students. The photo of a class trip to an art gallery was being used on a website advertizing the school in the US. The image has since been removed.

In the doctored image, white students featured in the original photograph of the class had their skin darkened, and black students were digitally inserted into the group, in an effort to produce a more ‘diverse’ image to appeal to US students. The photos went viral after being posted by a former student to Twitter.

Émile-Cohl college has placed the blame on a PR company. They refused to name the agency, but pledged to end its contract with them. The school apologized: ‘because it goes without saying that we disapprove of this process.’

College director Antoine Rivière said that the school had sent the photo to a US communications company, to be used as advertising for a subsidiary school in Los Angeles. He said that he had not given permission for the image to be altered. ‘This is the antithesis of what represents Émile-Cohl’, Rivière said.