Photographer apologizes for retouching Lupita Nyong'o's hair

"I can see now that altering the image of her hair was an unbelievably damaging and hurtful act," An Le said.
By Annie Martin Follow @littlemannie   |  Nov. 16, 2017 at 11:02 AM
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Nov. 16 (UPI) -- A New York-based photographer has apologized for retouching Lupita Nyong'o's hair on a magazine cover.

An Le said Monday that he made a "monumental mistake" by editing out part of the 34-year-old actress' hair on the November cover of Grazia U.K.

"I realize now what an incredibly monumental mistake I have made," he said in a statement to People. "I would like to take this time to apologize to Ms. Nyong'o and everyone else that I did offend."

Le, who is of Vietnamese heritage, said he came to see how altering Nyong'o's hair was an "unbelievably damaging and hurtful act," according to NME.

"Though it was not my intention to hurt anyone, I can see now that altering the image of her hair was an unbelievably damaging and hurtful act," he said. "As an immigrant myself, it is my duty to be an advocate for the representation of diversity of beauty in this industry. I will demonstrate this in my work even more going forward."

Nyong'o, who is of Kenyan heritage, had called out Grazia U.K. in a post last week after her "kinky" hair was "edited out and smoothed" on the cover. The magazine apologized but said it did not request the alteration.

"Grazia magazine would like to make it clear that at no point did they make any editorial request to the photographer for Lupita Nyong'o's hair to be altered on this weeks' cover, nor did we alter it ourselves," the publication said. "But we apologize unreservedly for not upholding the highest of editorial standards in ensuring that we were aware of all alterations that had been made."

Nyong'o is known for the films 12 Years a Slave and Queen of Katwe. She also voiced Maz Katana in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and will reprise the role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

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