Amid the furor that has come from angry viewers insisting that the BBC photoshopped Jeremy Corbyn in a recent appearance on Newsnight to give him a more Russian look, a boss on the show has outright dismissed these allegations, which is giving rise to even further anger.
On stills from the show, a background scene of Moscow’s Red Square was set behind the Labour leader and Corbyn’s trademark hat was also changed so that he was seen donning a hat that was decidedly Russian in appearance. As Huffington Post reported, commentator and political activist Owen Jones has slammed the BBC for Jeremy Corbyn’s appearance on last Thursday’s edition of Newsnight.
“The media framing has been a disgrace and I have to say that includes your own program. Yesterday in the background of your program you had Jeremy Corbyn dressed up against the Kremlin skyline, dressed up as a Soviet stooge. You even photoshopped his hat to look more Russian. People should complain to the BBC about that kind of thing.”
Jess Brammar, the editor of BBC’s Newsnight, publicly insisted on Twitter that no one had photoshopped Jeremy Corbyn.
“Our excellent, hardworking graphics team explained the image has had the contrast increased & been color-treated, usual treatment for screen graphics as they need more contrast to work through the screens. If you look you can see it’s same hat in silhouette.”
— HuffPost UK (@HuffPostUK) March 17, 2018
According to viewers, where Brammar’s explanation really falls short is when she explained that the Russian backdrop Newsnight used for Jeremy Corbyn was nothing but an innocent error by the BBC production team, who made the decision to reuse the same background that had been used several weeks ago on another episode of the show.
“And finally, the Russia background was a rehash of one Newsnight used a few weeks ago, for a story about Gavin Williamson, the Defense Secretary.”
However, her words don’t ring true to the many people who have suggested that the extreme change in appearance of Jeremy Corbyn’s hat and the Russian background that Newsnight chose could only have been intentional, especially given the delicate political climate surrounding Russia at the moment.
As Owen Jones asserted, the BBC could not possibly have made an error in judgment this great without it having been deliberate.
“The photo of Williamson is in a suit and his photo remains clear. There is no shortage of photos of Corbyn in a suit. A photo was selected which was as Leninesque as possible in combination with a red Kremlin background.”
We have submitted an official complaint about the photoshopped photo of Jeremy Corbyn from a recent Newsnight episode, and we suggest you do too. All of the details of the complaint can be found in the photo below, and you can issue your own complaint at https://t.co/I8ZOiYHbKj pic.twitter.com/XIAdji5cwC
— Balance The Beeb (@BalanceTheBeeb) March 17, 2018
Those who have found the Newsnight Russian representation of Jeremy Corbyn unconscionable have been urged to make their voice heard by sending a complaint directly to the BBC.