Last week, Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong’o slammed Grazia U.K. for publishing a retouched cover shot of her. On Nov. 10, the publication apologized for its misstep, clarifying that they’re not responsible for retouching the image.
“At no point did (it) make any editorial request to the photographer for Lupita Nyong’o’s hair to be altered on this week’s cover, nor did we alter it ourselves,” the magazine wrote. After Grazia U.K. released their statement, the photographer An Le also came forward with an apology on Nov. 13: “I realize now what an incredibly monumental mistake I have made,” the New York-based Vietnamese photographer wrote: “I would like to take this time to apologise to Ms. Nyong’o and everyone else that I did offend.”
Last Friday, the actress shared the before and after images of the magazine cover on Instagram, which showed that her natural ponytail had been removed and the rest of her hair smoothed out. In a withering critique, Nyong’o wrote: “I am disappointed that @graziauk invited me to be on their cover and then edited out and smoothed my hair,” she wrote. “Had I been consulted, I would have explained that I cannot support or condone the omission of what is my native heritage with the intention that they appreciate that there is still a very long way to go to combat the unconscious prejudice against black women’s complexion, hairstyle and texture.”
Multiple magazines have faced criticism for altering the images of celebrities recently. The Evening Standard newspaper was slammed for photoshopping Solange Knowles, Modeliste took heat for manipulating a pic of Zendaya, and most recently, fans speculated that J.Lo’s famously ample derriere was slimmed in Vanity Fair‘s Dec. cover story.