Microsoft was forced into an embarrassing apology after a website caught it "Photoshopping" a picture for its Polish website, replacing a black man with a white one.
For Microsoft, black is not beautiful in Poland. In what one website has labelled the“biggest racist Photoshop disaster ever”, the software giant was caught having changed a small, but significant, detail in an advert for its business website in Poland.
The original photo, made for Microsoft’s US advert, featured three characters: two men, one black and the other Asian, and a white woman. On the Polish advert, a white face was inserted to replace the black one.
The “Photoshopdisaster” website soon found out about the alteration and published both pictures. The modified advert was quick to spread across the Web, prompting outrage at its "racist" character. Bloggers also poured scorn on the amateur quality of the photoshop job, with Microsoft having bothered only to replace the head, but not the hand – making the final result even more ridiculous.
The Redmond-based company eventually apologised for the blunder and announced on its Twitter feed that it had removed the altered picture. Media-specialist Nowpublic notes that Microsoft initially sought to justify its choice by pointing out that there are few black people in Poland, drawing harsh criticisms from the Web. As bloggers pointed out, there are not very many Asian people in Poland either.
Meanwhile, others advised Microsoft to take a closer look at the hardware they use for their adverts before trying to mess around with Photoshop. Indeed, the computer at the centre of the picture is in fact… a Mac.
Date created : 2009-08-26