French School Edits Photos Of White Students To Make Them Look Black

In a bid to build the institute’s goodwill in the U.S., a French art school made white students look darker and digitally inserted black students in the picture posted on the official website.



A reputable French art school recently put up photo of a class trip to an art gallery on a U.S. promotional website to broaden the college’s appeal in the country.

However, it appears, the Émile Cohl art school in Lyon went a little overboard while making some final touch-ups to the photo.

The picture that was posted on the American version of the school's website was altered to darken the faces of some white students and some black students were even digitally inserted in what appears to be a very desperate attempt to add diversity to the photo.

The crudely photo-shopped picture was flagged by one of the former students who posted the two versions on Twitter.

"The photo was originally shared in a French animation studio by a [current] student of the school, and then broadcast on a Facebook group," Kelsi Ph?ng, who studied at Émile Cohl during the 2011-12 school year, told CNN. "Desiring to preserve [the student's] anonymity, I am responsible for broadcasting the photomontage."

It was not hard to spot the difference between the before and after shots of the group. In a very bizarre manner, some students’ facial features were altered to make them appear black. Also, in the doctored version, two black people were added in the middle of the photo.

The school, which has around 120 students, has since apologized for the blunder, blaming the communications company it hired in the U.S.

"The communication company decided on its own to darken the skin of some students to add diversity," Emmanuel Perrier, assistant director of the art school, told the network. "The communication campaign was made from the US."

He also said the picture, which featured a group of fifth year students who are "doing a six-month internship at the moment," was taken down immediately after the matter was brought to attention.

"When the website was made public, we didn't notice anything, the students from our school were the first ones to notice it," Perrier said.

The school, which reportedly plans to open up a branch in Los Angeles in the next four years, might wanted to give an impression of being a diverse and inclusive institute. But manipulating the facts couldn’t possibly help them in building the goodwill they were looking for.

Nevertheless, the college director, Antoine Rivière, also claimed the photographs were altered without the authorities’ knowledge.

“We had sent a certain number of documents to an American communications agency in order to highlight our college,” said Rivière. “This is the opposite of what Émile Cohl represents.”

Banner / Thumbnail : Pexels, Burst

View Comments

Recommended For You