Vanity Fair Apologizes for Editing Palestinian Flag Pin Out of Portrait

Saskia Lawaks/Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair has apologized after publishing an edited photo of Australian actor Guy Pearce so that his Palestinian badge was no longer visible.

The Memento star appeared in a series of actor portraits on the Vanity Fair France website all taken during the Cannes Film Festival but social media sleuths detected that a small Palestinian flag pin that Pearce has been wearing throughout the festival was missing.

It was confirmed when the same photo appeared on Vanity Fair France’s Instagram page but this version still had the Palestine pin on Pearce’s left lapel.

The edit was a simple job for the Spot Healing Brush Tool or similar aid and would have taken the photo editor less than a second to carry out.

The blunder caused the publication to update the article with the message: “A previous version of this image was posted on the site, the original version was this one, posted simultaneously on Instagram. We sincerely apologize.”

And beneath a viral Tweet by Ahmed Hathout criticizing the decision to remove the pin, Vanity Fair France apologized again.

“We have mistakenly published a modified version of this photo on the site. The original version was posted on Instagram the same day. We have rectified our mistake and we apologize.”

Numerous media outlets contacted Vanty Fair’s parent company Condé Nast to ask how and why the edit came about but it has not responded to the furore.

Following the incident, Pearce tweeted: “Palestinians are being murdered as we speak. Displaced, traumatised, ruined. The lives and futures of Palestinian children are being eradicated by a vengeful tyrant.”

Feelings are running high after an Israeli airstrike hit a refugee camp in Gaza over the weekend which killed 45 people. It prompted millions of social media users to share an AI-generated image that reads “All Eyes on Rafah.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the civilian deaths a “tragic error” but said he will continue the war despite international outrage.


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