Kerry Washington arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Confirmation" at the Paramount Theatre on Thursday, March 31, 2016. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Kerry Washington arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of “Confirmation” at the Paramount Theatre on Thursday, March 31, 2016. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Between her hit TV show “Scandal,” now in its fifth season, and her highly anticipated portrayal of Anita Hill in an upcoming HBO movie on the controversial confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, actress Kerry Washington’s face is widely known. But the African-American star was barely recognizable in a recent magazine cover image —and it is not the first time she’s faced a distorted image of herself.

Washington graced the cover of Adweek’s April 4 edition and the actress admitted that even she was “taken aback” by the outcome—a blanched, clearly “tweaked” version of her face.

“Look, I’m no stranger to Photoshopping. It happens a lot. In a way, we have become a society of picture adjusters—who doesn’t love a filter?” Washington said in an Instagram post the day after the magazine hit newsstands. “Yesterday, however, I just felt weary. It felt strange to look at a picture of myself that is so different from what I look like when I look in the mirror. It’s an unfortunate feeling.”

Washington’s post remained gracious though she was honest in expressing her disillusionment.


(Twitter Photo)

“I love ADWEEK. It’s a publication I appreciate. And learn from. I’ve long followed them on Twitter,” she said, adding, “When they invited me to do a cover, I was excited and thrilled. And the truth is, I’m still excited. I’m proud of the article.”

In a statement, AdWeek Editorial Director James Cooper said editors only added volume to Washington’s hair—though that is the least of the image’s obvious problems.

“Kerry Washington is a class act,” Cooper said. “We are honored to have her grace our pages. To clarify, we made minimal adjustments, solely for the cover’s design needs. We meant no disrespect, quite the opposite. We are glad she is enthusiastic about the piece and appreciate her honest comments.”

AdWeek’s misrepresentation of the “Scandal” star is not the first time she has had to confront a “whitewashed” image of herself on a magazine cover. In the December 2013 issue of Lucky magazine, for example, Washington’s eyes appeared to be narrower and her features somewhat distorted, and a March 2015 InStyle cover seemed lightened.

Other Black public figures have faced similar skewed depictions, including Oscar-nominated actress Lupito Nyong’o on the cover of Vanity Fair, and Beyoncé in her advertisements for L’Oreal Paris’ Feria hair color product.

The issue of poor or, rather, inappropriate lighting has been identified as one reason for the sometimes-drastically altered cover images of Black personalities.

“When you underexpose , they pop and resonate and shine in a particular way that you’re not going to see when a face is lit in a conventional way,” African-American cinematographer Bradford Young told Colorlines. “You’re doing Black folk a great disservice when you overexpose their skin.”