If you haven’t noticed the marketing shift in companies to capitalize on diversity you must be living in a bubble, but for educational institutions, this strategy is nothing new. Take a look at the majority of college brochures and you’ll see a cultural rainbow of peers, proudly pedaling an inclusive campus, however, the reality is sometimes a stark contrast.
Well, the French art school Émile Cohl in Lyon, decided to follow a “fake it till you make it” diversity campaign strategy to pull in prospective U.S students. In a promo photo on the American version of their school’s website the designers digitally added melanin to current white student’s faces and when this wasn’t enough took it a step further and manipulated the image to add two more black people to the group. A current student shared the ridiculous advertisement photo in a private group for students, which was then turned into a side by side photomontage by former student Kelsi Phung and posted to Twitter.
The viral tweet forced the art school to release an apology, blaming the U.S communications company they had hired.”The communication company decided on its own to darken the skin of some students to add diversity,” the assistant director of the art school, Emmanuel Perrier, told CNN. “The communication campaign was made from the US.”
Since the controversy, the site has been shut down and the contract with the communications company has been terminated. Émile Cohl hopes to salvage their reputation and continue their plan to open their Los Angeles branch in the next four years.
Scroll down below to see the horribly photoshopped photos and tell us your thoughts!
These are students at the Émile Cohl art school in Lyon, France
And here are the same students, but as someone noticed, they are joined by some new unfamiliar faces
On the school’s U.S website some of the student’s were slightly more melanated than before
While some were completely photoshopped out and replaced
Another student’s darker body double
There were six alterations overall
Needless to say, people were not happy