WikiHow apologises after whitewashing Beyoncé, Jay Z and Barack Obama in illustration 5 years ago

WikiHow apologises after whitewashing Beyoncé, Jay Z and Barack Obama in illustration

The website said it is disgusted & ashamed.

If you're not familiar with wikiHow, it is a website which explains how to do virtually anything. From boiling an egg to becoming president.


The how-tos are often accompanied by drawings to help explain the process.

One illustration however, has caused a backlash for it's offensive connotations.

On a wikiHow article entitled 'how to become congressman' an illustration based on a photograph of Beyonce, Jay Z and Barack Obama appeared.

The photograph was originally taken at a fundraising event in 2012. However, the illustrated version featured 'white' versions of the trio with Barack sporting longer, light brown hair.


A Beyonce fan page highlighted this error on Twitter.

wikiHow took to Twitter to apologise about the picture and to explain what happened.


The response continued:

''Within minutes of the 1st tweet, a volunteer removed the image. We then started investigating how it got on wikiHow at all.''

''We learned it was made 3 years ago by a team of illustrators who work as one. One person sketches, the other person colors. The sketcher sent the colorist a black and white sketch. The colorist did not know the race of the models. The colorist wasn’t aware it was Obama and Beyoncé.''

''We don’t think the illustrator intentionally whitewashed here. This doesn’t excuse the fact that we hosted a terrible image on wikiHow and we needed more diversity on that article period. We’re talking with our illustrators to prevent recurrence and encourage diversity. Especially in positions of power.''


The website claim it was a mistake but many Twitter users still weren't impressed and others did no believe the reason behind it.