Evening Standard apologises for airbrushing Solange Knowles' braid from magazine cover

The title has apologised to Knowles

The Evening Standard (ES) magazine has admitted it made 'the wrong call' after Solange Knowles called out the publication for airbrushing her braid out of the front cover.

Earlier this week the musician took to Instagram to express frustration that her architectural braided crown had been edited out of the final front splash – which promoted an interview in which she discussed the tradition and legacy of braiding.

The artist told the ES that braiding was an "act of beauty, an act of convenience and an act of tradition" before reposting the original unedited photo to her own social media account after the cover hit shelves. She captioned the image ‘DTMH’ - an abbreviation of her own track Don’t Touch My Hair.

The magazine said decision to digitally alter the photo was taken for “layout” purposes, however it faced scrutiny online with Knowles' fans accusing it of racism for editing out a significant part of the star's cultural identity.

dtmh @eveningstandardmagazine

A post shared by Solange (@saintrecords) on

Angelica Bastien, the journalist behind the ES interview also disassociated herself from the feature in a series of tweets, claiming the title distorted her work.

"I am publicly disowning the Solange piece London Evening Standard published today. The entire piece was a fiasco despite my efforts," she said.

"I told my editors to take my name off of the byline because they distorted my work and reporting in ways that made me very uncomfortable."

"Disowning the piece this publicly is meant to get across my displeasure with what was published," the writer continued. "I don't want this piece attached to my rep as a writer at all. Hopefully disowning it gets that across."

While it did not comment on Bastien’s statement, ES magazine issued it’s own, saying that it was “a matter of great regret that the finished cover artwork of the magazine caused concern and offence”

It continued: “The decision to amend the photograph was taken for layout purposes but plainly we made the wrong call and we have offered our unreserved apologies to Solange.”

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.