An art school in Lyon, France, is under fire after a student group photo was digitally altered to darken the skin tones of several white students to make them appear black.
Administrators at the Emile Cohl School in Lyon are accused of "blackwashing" the photo to fake the appearance of ethnic diversity at the mostly-white institution, The Local France reported.
The school reportedly wants to open a branch in Los Angeles, and the group photo was going to be used to advertise Emile Cohl in the United States in a bid to seek funding.
The school also denied "any intention to manipulate reality" and said it cut ties with the U.S. advertising agency that had digitally altered the photo.
Critics say the artificial darkening of white students to mimic a falsely racially diverse student body is laughable because no one who travels to the South of France would be surprised to find that the city of Lyon (population: 495,000) is predominantly white. The same line of thinking would apply to those expecting significant racial diversity should they elect to study in rural China, or any other nation with similar demographic constituencies.