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Australia: Channel shows retouched image of Georgie Purcell

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AustraliaBig breasts: Channel restores politician's image

Manipulated photo of Australian MP Georgie Purcell has sparked outrage. “Can anyone imagine that this could happen to a male MP?” asks the politician.

  • An Australian news channel has come under fire for doctoring a picture of a female MP.

  • In the shot, Victoria state assemblyman Georgie Purcell has large breasts and an exposed midriff.

  • The broadcaster blamed Photoshop fake mistakes.

An Australian news channel has been accused of sexism over an edited photo of a female politician. 9News Melbourne, part of Australia's Nine Network, apologized on Tuesday for sharing a retouched photo of Victoria state assemblyman Georgie Purcell. Obviously the regional politician needs to look attractive by editing the photo.

Purcell himself pitted the original and edited versions of the photo against each other on online networks. Originally, she was wearing a white sleeveless summer dress, but in the edited version it was changed to a crop top with a matching skirt. The inserted gray shade accentuates Purcell's breasts.

“Note the enlarged breasts, and the dress is so revealing. Can anyone imagine this happening to a male MP?” Purcell, of the Animal Justice Party, said:

It's all attributed to Photoshop

9News Melbourne boss Hugh Nailon attributed the confusion to a technical glitch. When cropping the original photo in the photo editing software Photoshop, “Photoshop's automation created an image that did not match the original image.” “It did not meet our high editorial standards and we apologize unreservedly to Ms. Purcell,” the station boss said.

The software company denied claims that its Photoshop program was responsible for the image manipulation. “Any changes to the image will require human involvement and consent,” an Adobe spokesperson said, according to Australian media.

Purcell told the Australian broadcaster that the incident had left her unmoved, and that such image manipulation “does more harm to other women and should never happen again”. “Things like this would never happen to male colleagues,” Purcell insisted.

Victorian Premier Jacinda Allen also criticized the fake photo. “This is no way to portray any woman, especially not a woman in public office,” the head of government told reporters. “We need to think about the message this sends, especially to young women.”

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(AFP/kle)