Instructional website WikiHow is under fire for posting a white-washed cartoon of Jay Z, Beyoncé and Barack Obama on their website. The sketch is based on a picture of the superstars and former president taken during a 2012 fundraiser. The cartoon featuring White renditions of the African-Americans icons was used on an article titled, “How to become a congressman.”
WikiHow has already apologized for using the image, describing the cartoon as disgraceful. “When we saw the whitewashed image of Obama, Jay Z and Beyoncé, we were disgusted and ashamed. It never should have been on wikiHow,” a representative tweeted in regards to the controversy.
1/ When we saw the whitewashed image of Obama, Jay Z & Beyoncé, we were disgusted & ashamed. It never should have been on wikiHow. https://t.co/tCIgpPpD2R
— wikiHow (@wikiHow) January 24, 2017
According to that same rep, the image was created in 2014 by a team of illustrators. “We learned it was made 3 years ago by a team of illustrators who work as one. One person sketches, the other person colors. The sketcher sent the colorist a black and white sketch. The colorist did not know the race of the models. The colorist wasn’t aware it was Obama and Beyoncé. We don’t think the illustrator intentionally whitewashed here. This doesn’t excuse the fact that we hosted a terrible image on wikiHow and we needed more diversity on that article period.”
Of course, there were some on Twitter not willing to accept that explanation.
@wikiHow shutup. YOU KNEW.
— tee. torry. tor. (@KinngTee) January 24, 2017
— THOTH (@THOTHEANCIENT) January 26, 2017
— Nicole (@Blk_Queen_cece) January 25, 2017
@wikiHow You PUBLISHED IT. You Knew. The illustrator Knew what s/he was doing. No one will be disciplined, so save the I'm sorry crap
— Malcom Martin Garvey (@PROBLACK6121) January 26, 2017
— Samson 🇪🇷 (@adulitanum) January 26, 2017