An American Tragedy

On June 27th, 1994, TIME Magazine’s edition featured a photo illustration of OJ Simpson’s mugshot on the cover that was done by Matt Mahurin. Both TIME Magazine and Newsweek had the mugshot on their cover page, but in a side-by-side comparison the TIME Magazine cover noticeably showed that Simpson’s skin color was made even darker.

I believe the alteration to this photo was completely unethical because the case was already extremely controversial due to racial tension. To make an African-American man’s skin darker than it actually is was not necessary and is unethical, even Newsweek‘s cover did not alter Simpson’s skin color for their cover. While it was unnecessary and unethical, I do not believe Mike Mahurin meant any harm with his edit of the mugshot. It seems to me that Mahurin was attempting to be a visual storyteller by darkening Simpson’s skin color in the mugshot to make the photo more dramatic than the unedited version.

Leave a Comment