Are These Photos Racist?


InkBlots and IceBergs

There’s been debate and clamor in social media about the pre-nuptial photos of Philippine celebrities Billy Crawford and Coleen Garcia shot in Ethiopia:

billycolleenprenup3 Image by MyMetroPhoto | Oly Ruiz

billycolleenprenup Image by MyMetroPhoto | Oly Ruiz

Some people have expressed concern and even rage that these photos appeared to make “accessories” or “props” out of the Ethiopians in the shots. Concerns over racism erupted, with some netizens pointing out how it seemed the Ethiopian women and children were included in the photos just to highlight the “glamour” of the couple against a backdrop of relatively simpler-dressed locals. Others didn’t go as far as saying the photos were racist; but said they did feel the photos were “not right.”

I read a lot of comments, on multiple posts about the issue, to inform my opinion about this one. It’s a tricky matter to comment on. What exactly is in these photos that triggered a whole…

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