Actress Kerry Washington upset with AdWeek magazine over photoshopped cover that made her look 'so different'

American actress Kerry Washington at the premiere of HBO Films' Confirmation at Paramount Theatre on March 31, 2016.
American actress Kerry Washington at the premiere of HBO Films' Confirmation at Paramount Theatre on March 31, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

Being featured on a magazine cover should be something that's worth celebrating. However, American actress Kerry Washington was not too pleased with her latest cover on AdWeek, and took to Instagram to express her opinions on the heavily photoshopped cover.

The Scandal star said it was an "honour" and a "privilege" to be featured in the magazine, but added: "I have to be honest... I was taken aback by the cover."

The edits in the cover, in which she models a black and white striped dress, turned out to be a little too much for Washington, who said she was "no stranger" to photo editing. 

"Yesterday, however, I just felt weary. 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. It's an unfortunate feeling."

So...You know me. I'm not one to be quiet about a magazine cover. 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. 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. I'm proud of the article. And I like some of the inside images a great deal. But, I have to be honest...I was taken aback by the cover. Look, I'm no stranger to Photoshopping. It happens a lot. In a way, we have become a society of picture adjusters - who doesn't love a filter?!? And I don't always take these adjustments to task but I have had the opportunity to address the impact of my altered image in the past and I think it's a valuable conversation. Yesterday, however, I just felt weary. 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. It's an unfortunate feeling. That being said. You all have been very kind and supportive. Also, as I've said, I'm very proud of the article. There are a few things we discussed in the interview that were left out. Things that are important to me (like: the importance of strong professional support and my awesome professional team) and I've been thinking about how to discuss those things with anyone who is interested, in an alternate forum. But until then...Grab this week's ADWEEK. Read it. I hope you enjoy it. 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

So...You know me. I'm not one to be quiet about a magazine cover. 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. 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. I'm proud of the article. And I like some of the inside images a great deal. But, I have to be honest...I was taken aback by the cover. Look, I'm no stranger to Photoshopping. It happens a lot. In a way, we have become a society of picture adjusters - who doesn't love a filter?!? And I don't always take these adjustments to task but I have had the opportunity to address the impact of my altered image in the past and I think it's a valuable conversation. Yesterday, however, I just felt weary. 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. It's an unfortunate feeling. That being said. You all have been very kind and supportive. Also, as I've said, I'm very proud of the article. There are a few things we discussed in the interview that were left out. Things that are important to me (like: the importance of strong professional support and my awesome professional team) and I've been thinking about how to discuss those things with anyone who is interested, in an alternate forum. But until then...Grab this week's ADWEEK. Read it. I hope you enjoy it. 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

A photo posted by Kerry Washington (@kerrywashington) on

Washington's fans agreed with her after seeing the photo.

One of them commented: "Omg! You're so right! That is weird... what hope does anyone have when they photoshop a natural beauty...?"

Another fan wrote: "They made you look like Scarlett Johansen... So weird. Your beauty should be left alone." 

Responding to the controversy, AdWeek's editorial director James Cooper described Washington as a "class act", saying the magazine was "honoured 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," he said in a statement.

Despite that, fans continued to slam the magazine over the edited image.

"You guys should be ashamed of yourselves. How dare you make Kerry lighter and overly photoshop her face? Were you guys insinuating that her natural skin color and facial features weren't beautiful? How pathetic and incompetent," said a netizen on AdWeek's Instagram post.

AdWeek is not the first magazine to receive criticism on overly photoshopping Washington's photos. Last year, InStyle magazine's March cover of Washington drew similar backlash from fans who felt that she looked unrecognisable after her skin tone was lightened.


InStyle's March 2015 cover of Kerry Washington. PHOTO: INSTYLE/COSMOPOLITAN

Sources: CNN, Cosmopolitan, Variety.com, Vox.com