Overweight Man “Shocked” By Altered Photo Of Himself In New York City Health Ad
Several years ago Los Angeles resident Cleo Berry was living in New York when he was paid $500 to participate in a photo shoot and now a photograph from that shoot has been altered to play off the mans weight in a set of New York City billboards focused on the dangers of obesity.
The 27-year-old man was photographed by Morten Smidt who turned around and sold the world to stock photo company ImageSource. The stock photo company then sold the photograph to New York City’s Department of Health, who in turn altered the photo by removing Berry’s right leg for an anti-diabetes campaign.
Speaking to Yahoo News Berry said of the first time he discovered the ad:
“I cried at my computer screen for, like, a minute.” and “I said: ‘Oh my gosh, they even gave me crutches. Come on, people.’ ”
In the meantime the New York City health department do anything illegal in altering the photograph since Berry signed a waiver at the time of the photo shoot, however they essentially lied to anyone examining the advertisement by providing a “fake” diabetes patients with a leg that was digitally amputated.
In defending their actions John Kelly, a spokesman for the health department said in a statement:
“This issue isn’t about one actor but rather the 700,000 New Yorkers who struggle with diabetes, which kills 1,700 people a year and causes amputations in another 3,000,” and “Advertising to warn the public about health concerns saves lives, and we will continue our efforts to warn New Yorkers about diabetes.”
Berry, an actor by trade is worried that it could affect his career, noting, “I’ve always wanted my photo in an ad all over the city, but I was hoping it would be for a TV show or something, not — this,” Berry said.
In an attempt to drum up some positive advertising, Berry has offered to lower his usual acting rate to any soda company willing to use his unaltered image for one of their campaigns.
Joking about the image he says of his soda campaign offer:
“I’ll sing and dance for them and I won’t charge an arm and a leg.”
Do you think the New York Department of Health should have found a real diabetes amputee to feature in their ad or was their point still valid based on the digitally altered photo?