BBC deny photoshopping Jeremy Corbyn's hat to make him appear more 'Leninesque'

Posted On: 
18th March 2018

The BBC have strongly denied that they photoshopped Jeremy Corbyn's hat during a segment on Newsnight discussing the response to the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

'Hat-gate' seems likely to rumble on.
Credit: 
BBC/Newsnight

Supporters of the Labour leader claimed that his image had been altered on a backdrop which appeared during the programme to make him look like a "soviet-stooge". 

It featured his face on a red background alongside the Kremlin.

Appearing on the programme the next night, Guardian commentator and arch-Corbynite Owen Jones complained that the image had been intentionally doctored to smear Mr Corbyn.

"The media framing has been a disgrace and I have to say that include your own programme," he said. 

"Yesterday the background of your programme you had Jeremy Corbyn dressed up against the Kremlin skyline, dressed up as a Soviet stooge.

"You even photoshopped his hat to look more Russian. People should complain to the BBC about that thing."

However, responding to the accusations on Twitter, the BBC vehemently denied altering the photo and pointed out that they frequently re-use backdrops and pointing out that they had used the same one alongside an image of defence secretary Gavin Williamson in recent days.

The programme's acting editor Jess Brammar also waded into the row with an explanation of the behind-the-scenes photo editing process to try and quell concerns.

She said: "Our (excellent, hardworking) graphics team explained the image has had the contrast increased & been colour treated, usual treatment for screen graphics as they need more contrast to work through the screens. If you look you can see it's the same hat in silhouette."

She added that she welcomed criticism of the show but denied any photo alteration had taken place.

But Owen Jones quickly fired back saying that the image had been designed to make Mr Corbyn look as "leninesque" as possible.

 

 

Labour MP and Corbyn ally Laura Pidcock congratulated Mr Jones for raising the alleged manipulation, saying it was "pretty unacceptable".

 

 

But Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis mocked attempts to analyse the photo, saying: "This is what we're dealing with, Peeps".