Alabama Live (AL.com) apologized and unpublished an “inappropriate” Halloween photo showing someone dressed up in “blackface.” Jim Romenesko posted the photo in question, which shows a man with his skin painted black, wearing an Afro wig, and holding a basketball.
According to its “about” page, AL.com is “powered by” three Alabama newspapers — the Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times and Press-Register — and has “local coverage from the Montgomery, and Gulf Coast Beaches regions.”
AL.com’s Vice President of Content, Kevin Wendt, said in a statement posted on the site that
“Today on an AL.com, an inappropriate photo was posted from a Halloween costume party at a popular bar on the Gulf. The picture was one of more than 70 photographs taken by our photographer at the costume party. The offensive photo was part of a large group of photos uploaded to AL.com, and the content of the photo was not properly reviewed before it was posted. Clearly, objectionable content like this does not belong on the site, and I apologize that this offensive picture was posted. We will review our procedures to ensure this does not happen again.”
Further, AL.com’s Niki Doyle noted that photo was taken down “because of its inappropriate nature” and that AL.com “apologizes for any offense it may have caused.”
The site also tweeted about the photo in question, responding to one reader who commented the “photo crosses line of decency.” AL.com responded that “Our photographer took photos of many different costumes, and shared all the photos to show readers the scene at [the] Flora-Bama [Lounge].”
AL.com added that the photo was taken down and agreed with another tweeter that ” It was an offensive photo that shouldn’t have been published. We’re working to ensure it never happens again.”
Further, AL.com noted one of its tweets included errors, writing to tweeter @astephigher, “As for the spelling/grammar in our tweeted apology: We wanted to set the record straight quickly, and erred in the process.”
iMediaEthics has written to AL.com’s Wendt asking how AL.com typically reviews photos before publication, how many complaints the site received over the photo, and if the photo had carried a caption. We’ll update with any response.
Hat Tip: Jim Romenesko