Photoshopping Racial Diversity?

AngryAsianMan draws from a TPM blog post that shows how the American Petroleum Institute created an image of employment diversity simply by photoshopping heads of two people of color onto white bodies. This is the “diverse” API photo he offers on his website. (Source: API)api_pamphlet

He notes this standard stock photo with mostly white heads that is the basis for the diverse photo, then adds:

Another so-bad-it’s-hilarious Photoshop job… This pamphlet for the American Petroleum Institute, given out a forum earlier this month, appears to show oil and gas industry employees as a racially diverse group of people. Hooray for the natural gas industry. . . . [The stock photo is] Two people whiter. The API pamphlet appears to have added a dark-skinned guy (third from the left) and an East Asian dude (second from the right, front row).

It is hard to know what to say about how absurd this country’s leaders (professionals?) can get on faking a concern with “diversity.”


  1. DJohnson

    I’m confused. I would have assumed you guys would be in favor of this kind of thing. I mean, it’s not like this is a photo of their actual staff, and they photoshopped in some minorities a la University of Wisconsin. They bought a stock photo of pretty people and diversified it up. For you. You’re welcome.

    In fact, it’s entirely possible they did it so the photo would more closely match the racial make-up of the institute. After all, they added what looks like an Indian, and that race has a big presence in eingineering-dominated fields.

    How do you know they’re “faking concern”? Maybe they’re genuinely concerned and the ones you should be taking to task are the ones who produce stock photos — “Big Stock Photo.” Maybe the Petrolium Institute said, “We need a picture of some people, and our actual staff is all too ugly. I’ve looked for a stock photo, but it’s all white people.”

    “We could photoshop in some minorities, sir.”

    “Brilliant, Sameer! I like the cut of your jib.”

    There is something you should be worried about, though. You probably assumed that the just off to the left with his jacket dangling from his shoulder is gay. That would put the fraction of homosexuals in the picture at just under 5% — roughly in line with serious estimates of the population. That’s all assuming the woman in front is wearing pants because she’s an engineer and for no other reason. However, the guy is not gay, he just has a sense of style, boyish good looks, and a devil-may-care attitude.

    Finally, why the scare quotes around “diversity”? I thought I was the only one who used that term ironically around here.

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