KMT apologizes to farmer for digital manipulation of portrait

The China Post, By Grace Soong

The China Post–Kuomintang (KMT) apologized yesterday for using a digitally manipulated farmer’s portrait without consent in its presidential campaign commercial on television. In a television commercial aired by the KMT aimed at criticizing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen for her flip-flopping attitude on the topic of increasing the senior farmers’ subsidy, the portrait of a weary-looking farmer repeatedly appeared. The portrait, as sources pointed out, highly resembled an actual farmer who had participated in a documentary years back, just skinnier, older, and missing more teeth. As it turned out, the advertising company that was responsible for creating the commercial had digitally manipulated the image without acquiring consent from the farmer or informing the KMT, and KMT spokesperson Lai Su-ju (賴素如), upon investigation, offered sincere apologies to the farmer, yesterday.

The KMT had no prior knowledge of such wrongdoing, but “we think this is an awful thing to have been done, and we apologize to the farmer,” she said, adding that no further broadcasting of the commercial would be allowed. Tsai’s attitude toward the implementation of the policy to increase farmers’ subsidy, however, was depicted accurately in the commercial, Lai said, pointing out that Tsai had, in the past, clearly stated that she would rather not pay tax if the subsidy for farmers were to be increased from NT$5,000 to NT$6,000.