Some of our readers have inquired about Nayani Thiyagarajah’s response to our recent apology, for the unintended error we made on the cover of our 2014 special print edition, where she was featured in a lighter tone than her natural skin tone. Nayani posted the following note on her personal Facebook page, which we’re republishing here with her permission:
“A few of our amazing and loyal readers have pointed out that the cover image (shown below) on our annual print magazine displays Nayani Thiyagarajah, Director/Writer of the ‘Shadeism’ documentary, in a lighter tone than her natural skin tone. This was also a serious concern expressed by both Nayani and the rest of her production team to our staff. We wanted to ensure that we publicly addressed this, as the Shadeism movement is one that we fully stand behind and support, and in no way do we want such a great initiative to be negatively impacted.”
Thank you TamilCulture for taking our concerns and those of readers seriously, and acknowledging mistakes made. I myself know that we all make mistakes or let things pass unintentionally, and this is a part of living and learning. I don’t believe in attacking, but I do believe in constructive, growth-centered, and forward-moving conversations. I do believe in checking each other respectfully and taking action collectively. This is a huge learning curve for everyone involved. It’s taught us to be much more involved in our interactions with the press and clear about our stance/expectations from the jump. I know that though we were working with an understanding team this time, who was open and ready to write an apology, there may be other mainstream media outlets in the future who deliberately alter colours/bodies without care, as we all know most do.
I am grateful that the TC team was open to being checked, and that they have acknowledged this error and taken action to correct it. You have been kind supporters of our work for a long time now and I am grateful for that.