source : www.news.com.au
A Taiwanese-American model has reached out to a well-known fashion designer who posted on social media a digitally altered photo of her in white on the runway.
In a TikTok video that has been viewed nearly two million times in the past week, Shereen Wu claimed that Michael Costello – who has worked with Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and Celine Dion and on Project Runway – posted an edited photo to his Instagram from a recent fashion show in Los Angeles.
The image shows Wu in the black dress she walked the catwalk in – but her face has been altered to make her appear to be a white woman.
“I recently walked for Michael Costello… but that’s not me he put in his story,” the 21-year-old said in the clip.
“Michael is a major designer with 1.7 million followers. Editing my face and removing my race is completely disrespectful.
Costello denied Wu’s accusation in an Instagram story, saying that the image was “fan art” sent to him by an unnamed source, and that he had not been the one to alter it.
However, he did take “responsibility” for choosing to share it.
“I didn’t think before resharing it on my Instagram Stories because I was on an emotional rollercoaster resharing everything I was tagged in.”
In the post, which has since disappeared, he also said that “in light of the false allegations in (Wu)’s videos,” his eponymous brand would “move forward with legal proceedings.”
Wu, who was not paid for walking the runway show at Los Angeles Fashion Week, said she hoped she would at least “get paid in exposure.”
“But I didn’t get any exposure because this is an edited photo. By cutting off my head, neither did the make-up artist, hairdresser or photographer. That’s what irritates me so much,” she said of the image.
While the origin of the altered runway photo Costello shared is unknown, Wu said she believed someone used artificial intelligence to create the white face covering her own face.
It was her mother, not her, who first noticed her face had been replaced, Wu added.
“My first reaction was, ‘who would remove someone’s head like that?’” she said.
“My next reaction was fear and then a feeling of melancholy because my mother had to see her daughter’s face cut.”
She said she hoped “people can understand how painful it is to have your work stolen from you.”
“It’s very dehumanizing. What makes us human is our ability to create something beautiful, and to have this beauty twisted into something that could potentially be ugly is a terrifying thought.”
In the caption of her video, she wrote: “I want to explain what happened, and I hope other models in the future feel comfortable saying something,” she wrote.
Following his threat of legal action, Wu contacted fashion worker advocacy group the Model Alliance, which referred her to a lawyer.
“For more than a decade, we have heard of models walking into a store or browsing a company’s website and discovering that their image has been heavily manipulated or otherwise used without their informed consent or compensation,” said Model Alliance founder Sara Ziff. , told The guard.
“Unfortunately, Shereen’s experience is one of many examples of why models need protection as employees.
“AI technology may be new, but the problem of misuse of model images is not.”
source : www.news.com.au