Photog Blasts NBC for Softening Pics of Lia Thomas for More Feminine Look

University of Pennsylvania transgender athlete Lia Thomas competes in the 200 freestyle fi
AP Photo/John Bazemore

A photojournalist blasted NBC for purposefully altering her photos of transgender UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas, apparently making Thomas look more feminine during a recent Today Show report.

The Today Show came under stark criticism for using photos that were noticeably softened or “airbrushed” during its March 17 report on the trans swimmer as Thomas was competing at the NCAA championships in Georgia.

Here is the report:

Now, a photojournalist who took some of the photos is decrying NBC for altering her photos.

“I pride myself on providing authentic images as a photojournalist,” Erica Denhoff told the Washington Examiner on Wednesday.

Denhoff, a student-athlete and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, said that she agrees with critics who say NBC altered the photos and added, “It’s really important as photojournalists that we transmit authentic photos that have not been altered.

“When I first noticed the airbrushing on the segment referenced, I thought something was honestly wrong with the video. But then, I watched it again and thought, ‘Wait a minute, this appears to be intentional. Lia’s features are softened,'” Denhoff exclaimed.

Denhoff said once she learned of the criticism, she compared her actual photos to the shots used by NBC and saw a noticeable difference. Her images were softened and blurred by the TV network.

“To me, it definitely seems like something was going on with the airbrushing/noise reduction of all of Lia’s photos in this segment,” Denhoff said of NBC’s March 17 report.

Denhoff confirmed that some of the photos used in the segment were her photos and added, “I’m surprised and disappointed that Today altered my image of Lia for this particular news segment.”

Last week, social media users slammed NBC for using the softened photos:

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