‘Adweek’ Lightens Kerry Washington’s Skin Color In Cover Shot, Actress Disappointed

TV actress Kerry Washington appears on the April 4 cover of Adweek, and while she appreciates the magazine for their work, she did not seem happy about the cover and shared her honest thoughts about it.

Washington admitted she was shocked by how different her magazine image looked from her actual appearance. She felt that her photo was heavily altered and that her face was barely recognizable. By looking at her photo, one can notice that the magazine’s creative team digitally retouched her hair and nose and used a filter to lighten her skin color.

“It felt strange to look at a picture of myself that is so different from what I look like when I look in the mirror,” she said in a lengthy Instagram post addressing the issue. “It’s an unfortunate feeling.”

Despite her disappointment, the TV actress thanked Adweek for inviting her to grace the cover of their magazine.

“I always celebrate it when a respected publication invites me to grace their pages. It’s an honor. And a privilege. And ADWEEK is no exception,” Washington wrote.

She said the Photoshop fail did not diminish her love for the magazine, stating, “I love ADWEEK. It’s a publication I appreciate. And learn from.”

“I’ve long followed them on Twitter. And when they invited me to do a cover, I was excited and thrilled. And the truth is, I’m still excited,” she continued.

In her Instagram post, Washington wrote that she was proud of the article they did about her and liked the inside image but admitted she was “taken aback” by the cover. The Scandal actress says she understands that magazines use Photoshop a lot to enhance its images, but this is not the first time her photo had been heavily modified. Her image for the March 2015 issue of InStyle magazine was also altered.

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InStyle denied that they digitally modified the actress’s skin but said they used cover lighting to lighten her skin tone.

Kerry Washington also expressed her disappointment over the omission of some of the relevant topics they talked about during the interview such as “the importance of strong professional support and my awesome professional team.” However, she promised to discuss them some other time.

She concluded her Instagram post by thanking her fans for their unfailing support and inviting readers to get the latest copy of Adweek.

“And thank you for being patient with me while I figured out how to post this in a way that felt both celebratory and honest. XOXOXOX”

Her interview with the publication encompasses her interest in various product lines, as well as her roles in the ABC drama series Scandal and HBO’s new TV program Confirmation. She told the magazine how shocked she was by the abortion scene in Scandal, saying she had no idea it was coming. Kerry Washington also explained the importance of remaining authentic while representing international brands.

“I’m not interested in partnering with brands where I have to conform to match their brand identity,” the actress told Adweek. “If somebody doesn’t want to work with me because I do a speech at the Democratic National Convention, that’s fine.”

Responding to Washington’s Instagram statement, Adweek editorial director James Cooper released a statement explaining the Photoshop fail.

“Kerry Washington is a class act. We are honored to have her grace our pages. To clarify, we made minimal adjustments, solely for the cover’s design needs. We meant no disrespect, quite the opposite. We are glad she is enthusiastic about the piece and appreciate her honest comments,” the statement read.

In a Twitter post, Cooper admitted they altered Washington’s hair for “dramatic effect,” adding that they did not mean to disrespect her.

[Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]