Ugandan climate advocate Venessa Nakate was cropped out from a picture she took with fellow activists; Greta Thunberg, Loukina Tille, Luisa Neubauer and Isabelle Axelsson.
Reacting, a pan-African said ‘that it happened is not only shocking but shameful, and to mention that this racist act was committed by almighty Associated Press, it is beyond belief, how can it be?’
Nakate accused The Associated Press news agency of racism after it removed her from a photograph taken with fellow activists Greta Thunberg, Loukina Tille, Luisa Neubauer and Isabelle Axelsson.
The image taken on Friday after the young campaigners gave a press conference in the Swiss resort, where they had been invited by the organisers of the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) whose agenda this year focused heavily on environmental issues.
Nakate was shocked to find out that she had been removed from the photograph.
“I was cropped out of this photo! Why?” Nakate asked on her Twitter account on Friday.
“You didn’t just erase a photo. You erased a continent. But I am stronger than ever,” said the 23-year-old, who posted an almost 11-minute-long video on the social media platform.
Following her post, Twitter users expressed their anger at the news agency’s move and urged it to remove the cropped photograph and share one of all the activists.
Fellow activist Thunberg called the decision to crop her peer from the photo “unacceptable”.
Following the backlash, AP removed the photo and replaced it with one showing all the activists.
“We regret publishing a photo this morning that cropped out Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate, the only person of color in the photo,” Sally Buzbee, the agency’s executive editor, said in a statement.
“We have spoken internally with our journalists and we will learn from this error in judgment,” the statement added.
The controversy even created a wider debate about how Western media covers Africans and issues around Africa. While they are quick to point out what is not working, they are terribly slow to report progress except when they are associated with the success.