It started out as a fun photo, a selfie that House Speaker Paul Ryan took with interns working for Republicans on Capitol Hill this summer.
Ryan is smiling. The interns are smiling.
“I think this sets a record for the most number of #CapitolHill interns in a single selfie. #SpeakerSelfie,” Ryan wrote when he posted the photo to Instagram.
But very quickly, the picture drew fire.
Why are most of the interns white, social media asked?
The photo made the rounds under hashtags such as #RepublicansSoWhite and #WhiteWash. News publications around the world published it, noting the lack of diversity.
Ryan got blowback from Democratic colleagues, too.
Other interns noticed. Audra Jackson, who is working this summer for Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Texas Democrat, gathered fellow Democratic interns for their own selfie.
Ryan has not commented on the photo. TMZ, however, caught up with Michael Steele, former Republican National Committee chairman, at the Republican convention in Cleveland this week and showed him the photo.
“Need to work on that thing,” Steele said.