White students edited to look black to promote French college in US

Three students had their faces darkened, and two people of colour were added.
Three students had their faces darkened, and two people of colour were added. Photo credit: Twitter / Ameliabrador

A French art college has come under fire after white students in a promotional image were edited to look black in an attempt to appeal to the US market. 

Former students of Émile Cohl in the French city of Lyon posted photographs before and after editing to social media, showing none of the students in the original image were black. 

Three students in the image taken at a gallery had their faces darkened, and two people of colour were added.

The college is planning to open a branch in the United States, and had sent "a certain number of documents" to the unnamed US communications company to help with promotion, the college's director Antoine Rivière told L'Express

But the images were edited without the college's knowledge he said, adding: "This is the opposite of what Émile Cohl represents."

The school has ordered the images to be removed and apology letters were distributed to students and parents, the Guardian reports

The manipulation of images to make people's skin colour appear different or appeal to a certain demographic is a contentious issue. 

British actress Jameela Jamil recently expressed the hurt she has felt over being made to "look white" in photo shoots throughout her career. 

"People change my nose to make it look more like a little Caucasian nose, and they've changed the colour of my skin to make it lighter and to make me look more acceptable, perhaps, to a Caucasian audience," she told the podcast Ways to Change the World

Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o blasted Grazia magazine in November last year after her natural hair was airbrushed out of an image, which she claims was an attempt to "fit a more Eurocentric notion of what beautiful hair looks like". 

Photographer An Le apologised to the actress, saying: "Though it was not my intention to hurt anyone, I can see now that altering the image of her hair was an unbelievably damaging and hurtful act."

Newshub.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz