InStyle explained to critics on Thursday why “Scandal” star Kerry Washington’s face might appear to be whitewashed on the magazine’s March cover.
Blame it on the lighting, said the magazine, which denied doing anything intentional to make the African-American actress look whiter.
Critics slammed InStyle on social media after Washington proudly shared the image on Instagram, writing, “I'm THRILLED to share with you all that I'm on the cover of this year's March @instylemagazine! Can't wait for you guys to see it and read it! So honored. And crazy excited.”
Some fans thought that Washington’s face had been intentionally whitened by the magazine.
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“Terrible! They are trying to make you look white. This looks nothing like you,” wrote one of her fans on Instagram. “This is severely Photoshopped. You know better than this Kerry!!”
Wrote another: “Why is she white in this picture.”
In a statement released Thursday, InStyle acknowledged that it had “heard from those who have spoken out about our newsstand cover photograph, concerned that Kerry’s skin tone was lightened.
“While we did not digitally lighten Kerry’s skin tone, our cover lighting has likely contributed to this concern. We understand that this has resulted in disappointment and hurt.
“We are listening, and the feedback has been valuable. We are committed to ensuring that this experience has a positive influence on the ways in which we present all women going forward.”
Washington herself responded to the magazine’s statement on Twitter, writing, “Beautiful statement. Thank u 4 opening this convo. Its an important 1 that needs to be had.”