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   xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Jun 21 12:40 AM

June 21, 2009: Diversity

Neatorama points to this National Post story, of diversity through photoshop, in Toronto.

The smiling, ethnically diverse family featured on the cover of Toronto's latest edition of its summer Fun Guide was digitally altered to make the photo more "inclusive," which city officials say is in keeping with a policy to reflect diversity.

A spokesman for the department that publishes the guide listing recreation activities confirmed the publication was doctored to insert the face of a different father.

"He superimposed the African-Canadian person onto the family cluster in the original photo. It was two photographs and one head was superimposed over the original family photo," said John Gosgnach, communications director for the social development division.

"The goal was to depict the diversity of Toronto and its residents."

The strange thing is, the family in the original stock photo are ethnically ambiguous to begin with. They could be of European, South American, or anywhere in between, decent.

"You won't find a more inclusive organization than us," said Kevin Sack, Toronto's director of strategic communications. "We want everyone to feel involved and welcome to participate in everything. That's the only goal. Nothing wrong with that."

The move was in accordance with a policy dated April 11, 2008, signed by former city manager Shirley Hoy directing staff to ensure the true kaleidoscope of Toronto residents is represented in all its communications materials.

"The policy doesn't say PhotoShop, the policy says 'show diversity' and that's of course what we try and do because we want all of our publications to reflect the community that we serve," explained Mr. Sack, who oversees city communications. "That's only fair. People should see themselves reflected in city services because it's everyone who uses them."

There are no criteria for what constitutes diversity, he acknowledged when asked how the policy is implemented in practice and why the family in the initial image didn't seem to fit the bill.
Wonder how the kids in the original photo feel, when the see their dad was toasted?

classicman  Sunday Jun 21 01:04 AM

PC bullshit - Why can't people just be who they really are?

Flint  Sunday Jun 21 01:50 AM

The way the fake dad is looking at her...he looks so familiar.

spudcon  Sunday Jun 21 07:21 AM

I'm offended! They removed the guy with a double chin and replaced him with a guy without one. As a guy with two chins, I'm not going to Toronto. I don't feel included.

Tawny  Sunday Jun 21 07:25 AM

In the first picture it looks like she's faking a smile thinking, "Who is this creep who jumped into the photo with me and my kids?!"

sweasel  Sunday Jun 21 08:14 AM

I may have the distinction of being the very first idiot to try this ploy. I did graphics for an engineering company. We had an early image manipulation program in the late 80s, pre-Photoshop. We got all done putting together a training program and realized there were no persons of color in it. So I Africanized somebody (my boss, as it happens, who was photographed as a character in the program).

Everyone was horrified and made me extra-double-super delete the image and swear I wouldn't tell anyone -- but nobody could tell me what exactly the problem was (it wasn't a caricature or anything; my boss made a handsome enough brother).

bluecuracao  Sunday Jun 21 10:47 AM

I understand how important it is to them to reflect diversity, but what I find really offensive is the obvious, bad Photoshop work.

Why they didn't just use a different photo...there are tons of stock photos out there showing mixed-race families, in that exact pose.

jinx  Sunday Jun 21 12:24 PM

I thought Diversity was an old, old, wooden ship.... possibly used during the civil war era...

semoto  Sunday Jun 21 06:10 PM

It may possibly be ageism. The first father looks older. The replacement, much younger.

ZenGum  Sunday Jun 21 07:48 PM

Their diversity isn't very diverse. No Asians, no North Europeans, no trans-gender dwarfs.

What this picture really says is: in this town, we let all the coloreds mix together. That don't mean the white folks has to mix with them.

(Not that Toronto is actually like that. I'm just talking about the picture.)

Gravdigr  Monday Jun 22 04:15 PM

Hey, where's that guy that jumped up and down on my ass for saying that Rudy guy looked like a pimp?? Huh? Where is his ass now, huh?? He ought be having a fucking fit...I hope he is...somewhere.

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