Wikihow Apologises After "Whitewashing" Beyonce, Jay Z And Obama In This Viral Picture
25 January 2017, 14:19
Fans were not happy.
Wikihow has issued an apology after depicting Beyonce, Jay-Z and Barack Obama as white people in a recently published article.
The image appeared in an article named "How To Become A Congressman" and featured a cartoon version of a photo taken of the trio at a fundraising event in 2012.
Many internet users flagged up the picture after it was published, accusing the popular 'how-to' website of "whitewashing" the stars.
Wikihow turned Obama, Beyoncé, and Jay Z white to explain "How to become a congressman." pic.twitter.com/QNTGz5wjaq— FORMATION (@beyupdates_) January 22, 2017
Wikihow responded by removing the image from the article and issuing an apology through a series of tweets.
The site claims that the original photo was sent around an illustrating team, during which time the colour was removed from the image leaving a black and white picture.
Wikihow argues that the colourist "did not know the race of the models", although it doesn't excuse hosting the "terrible image" on their site.
1/ When we saw the whitewashed image of Obama, Jay Z & Beyoncé, we were disgusted & ashamed. It never should have been on wikiHow. https://t.co/tCIgpPpD2R— wikiHow (@wikiHow) January 24, 2017
@wikiHow 2/ Within minutes of the 1st tweet, a volunteer removed the image. We then started investigating how it got on wikiHow at all.— wikiHow (@wikiHow) January 24, 2017
@wikiHow 3/ We learned it was made 3 years ago by a team of illustrators who work as one. One person sketches, the other person colors.— wikiHow (@wikiHow) January 24, 2017
@wikiHow 4/ The sketcher sent the colorist a black and white sketch. The colorist did not know the race of the models.— wikiHow (@wikiHow) January 24, 2017
@wikiHow 5/ The colorist wasn’t aware it was Obama and Beyoncé. We don’t think the illustrator intentionally whitewashed here.— wikiHow (@wikiHow) January 24, 2017
@wikiHow 6/ This doesn’t excuse the fact that we hosted a terrible image on wikiHow and we needed more diversity on that article period.— wikiHow (@wikiHow) January 24, 2017
@wikiHow 7/ We’re talking with our illustrators to prevent recurrence and encourage diversity. Especially in positions of power.— wikiHow (@wikiHow) January 24, 2017
The website is often pulled up on for it's sometimes bizarre illustrations - an internet game matching Wikihow cartoons to their related article went viral last year.