Kerry Washington’s InStyle cover has fans in an uproar after it revealed the “Scandal” actress with a significantly lighter skin tone than she actually has.
Washington gushed about the cover on social media, saying she was “THRILLED” about the final product but her fans weren’t quite as excited.
Washington was barely recognizable in the image that not only featured her with lighter skin but also seemed to shrink her lips and make slight alterations to other facial features including her nose.
“Why is she white in this picture,” one user asked in a comment on the Instagram photo.
Another user wrote, “They white washed her face and then annihilated her beautiful full lips.”
Another user noticed that the magazine may have taken aim at her nose as well.
“Did they photoshop her nose to? (sic) For what,” another comment asked.
The unfortunate reality is that many magazines have been known to lighten the skin complexions of Black stars who make their way to the cover, but InStyle is insisting that that isn’t the case here.
“While we did not digitally lighten Kerry’s skin tone, our cover lighting has likely contributed to this concern,” InStyle said in a public statement. “We understand that this has resulted in disappointment and hurt. We are listening, and the feedback has been valuable.”
While the magazine never actually apologized for the image, they assured fans that this wouldn’t be a recurring problem.
“We are committed to ensuring that this experience has a positive influence on the ways in which we present all women going forward,” the statement continued.
The gorgeous actress didn’t have much to say during all the social media buzz but she did share the magazine’s statement and express her gratitude that such a conversation got the attention it needed.
“Beautiful statement,” Washington tweeted. “Thank u 4 opening this convo. It’s an important 1 that needs to be had.”
This is the second time Washington was nearly unrecognizable in a magazine cover photo.
Back in 2013, fans also found issue with her Lucky Magazine cover.
While Lucky was not accused of lightening the star’s skin complexion, fans argued that she simply didn’t look like herself and that the final image was a poor selection on the magazine’s behalf.
Other famous Black women have also been the victims of skin lightening in major photos.
L’Oreal was once accused of lightening Beyonce’s skin complexion in a series of ads although the cosmetic giant adamantly denied the accusations.
Lupita Nyong’o also appeared much lighter than her usual self in a spread for Vanity Fair in 2014.
Even celebrity men have been targeted by such white washing photos.
Famed astrophysicist and “Cosmos” host Neil deGrasse Tyson was significantly lighter on a cover of “Mental Floss” in 2014.