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microsoft and the race swap photoshop f***-up

Stevie H

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clumsy as anything this.


Microsoft apologises over race-swap gaffe


Bobbie Johnson, San Francisco

Wednesday 26 August 2009 06.13 BST


Microsoft's doctored advert was shown to users in Poland


Software giant Microsoft has issued an apology after it emerged that the company's Polish arm had altered a promotional image to change the race of one of the people pictured.


In the US, the image featured three employees sitting around a meeting table - one white woman, and two men, one black and one Asian.


When it was used in Poland, however, the advert - which promised Polish businesses the chance to "to boost your employees using the right tools" - had replaced the head of the black worker with a badly super-imposed face of a white man. His one visible hand, however, remained unchanged.


The image began circulating online on Tuesday and after being alerted to the switch, Microsoft took down the image and said it was trying to discover who was responsible.

The original version of a photo Microsoft later doctored for Polish users The original version of a photo Microsoft later doctored for Polish users


"We are looking into the details of this situation," said a Microsoft spokesman in a statement. "We apologise and are in the process of pulling down the image."


Although the doctored image has quickly removed and replaced with the original, it has already become the target of online jokes.


On the Photoshop Disasters blog, where readers dissect bad photo editing, questioned whether should have chosen to use the original rather than "clumsily get rid of the black guy".


One user jokingly suggested that the gaffe was actually an attempt to cram more racial backgrounds into a single image.


"I think the intention was to make this ad even more PC, since you now have an Asian guy, a woman and a black guy's body with a white guy's head."

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