Kerry Washington And InStyle Address Skin Lightening Controversy

Published on February 6, 2015.
Photo by Broadimage/REX

As one of the most powerful women on TV right now, actress Kerry Washington, 38, graced the cover on InStyle magazine for their March 2015 issue and while her confidence and gorgeous presence is enough to attract attention, the feedback has been less than positive.

Fans are outraged by how light Washington’s skin appears on the cover after the star posted the picture on her Instagram account, writing, “I’m THRILLED to share with you all that I’m on the cover of this year’s March @instylemagazine! Can’t wait for you guys to see it and read it! So honored. And crazy excited.”

Immediately people’s reactions were of anger and disappointment posting things like, “Glad you made the cover kerry, but this isn’t right. I’m sorry. It’s not. Don’t let them do that to you,” and “I am a real fan Kerry and this is just disappointing. This looks nothing like the beautiful black gladiator you are #sosad.”

After hearing of the backlash InStyle posted a statement about the cover on their website writing, “We are super fans of Kerry Washington here at InStyle. To feature her on the cover of our March spring fashion issue is both and honor and a delight. We have heard from those who have spoken out about our newsstand cover photograph, concerned that Kerry’s skin tone was lightened. While we did not digitally lighten Kerry’s skin tone, our cover lighting has likely contributed to this concern. We understand that this has resulted in disappointment and hurt. We are listening, and the feedback has been valuable. We are committed to ensuring that this experience has a positive influence on the ways in which we present all women going forward.”

Meanwhile Kerry seemed to agree with the statement, taking to her Twitter to direct those concerned to the statement and writing, “Beautiful statement. Thank u 4 opening this convo. Its an important 1 that needs to be had.”

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