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People Think Jeremy Corbyn’s Hat Was Photoshopped To Look Russian, So We Tried It Out

BBC Newsnight has denied an image of Corbyn was deliberately made to look Russian.

Originally posted on
Updated on

By now you will have heard the claims that BBC Newsnight photoshopped Jeremy Corbyn, seen here in a hat, to look "Russian".

Jonathan Brady / PA Archive/PA Images

People got really angry.

The BBC actually photoshopped Jeremy Corbyn's hat to make it look more Russian for this smear on Newsnight. Let that sink in. The BBC is being used as an anti- #Labour propaganda machine. https://t.co/IFrmhy2wCk

Newsnight denied the claims and said it was the result of a change in contrast and colour.

Our (excellent,hardworking) graphics team explained the image has had the contrast increased & been colour treated, usual treatment for screen graphics as they need more contrast to work through the screens. If you look you can see it’s same hat in silhouette

We went down to Topshop to buy the hat (which was trending online) and tried it on seven people to see if it would look the same without retouching.

Topshop / Via topshop.com

We asked each person to pose in a similar way to Corbyn and edited the contrast and colour in a similar way to the image on BBC Newsnight.

Jonathan Brady / PA Archive/PA Images / BBC Newsnight

After each person wore the hat we showed them the finished photos and asked them one question: "Do you think you look Russian?"

1. Patrick Smith

"It makes you look a bit old-fashioned, as if it’s an old sepia picture. But I don’t look very Russian, no."
Laura Gallant / BuzzFeed

"It makes you look a bit old-fashioned, as if it’s an old sepia picture. But I don’t look very Russian, no."

2. Ikran Dahir

"No."
Laura Gallant / BuzzFeed

"No."

3. Tim Lane

"More like a very angry chimneysweep."
Laura Gallant / BuzzFeed

"More like a very angry chimneysweep."

4. Steven Vig

"Yes, I think I do with the filter."
Laura Gallant / BuzzFeed

"Yes, I think I do with the filter."

5. Ailbhe Malone

"I look more Myspace than Russian."
Laura Gallant / BuzzFeed

"I look more Myspace than Russian."

6. Ryan Broderick

"I think — like how Jeremy Corbyn must have felt after seeing what the BBC did to him — I've been unfairly portrayed as a communist."
Laura Gallant / BuzzFeed

"I think — like how Jeremy Corbyn must have felt after seeing what the BBC did to him — I've been unfairly portrayed as a communist."

7. Paul Curry

"I look like a pissed-off northerner."
Laura Gallant / BuzzFeed

"I look like a pissed-off northerner."

Ikran is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Ikran Dahir at ikran.dahir@buzzfeed.com.

Laura Gallant is a photo editor for BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

Contact Laura Gallant at Laura.Gallant@BuzzFeed.com.

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