Republican Senator David Perdue is running for re-election this November in Georgia.
In a recent online ad, he showed a picture of his Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, alongside Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, both of whom are Jewish.
The internet erupted in outrage, however, when it was noticed that Perdue's campaign had manipulated the image of Ossoff to make his nose appear larger, an infamous anti-semitic trope.
Georgia @sendavidperdue’s campaign has deleted an ad that made Jon @ossoff’s nose appear bigger. His campaign said… https://t.co/CID2TF8ZTH— Greg Bluestein (@Greg Bluestein) 1595894381.0
Uh. The ad in question... https://t.co/0XSAbIDDkV https://t.co/b9QXKN1Vci— Tyler Dinucci (@Tyler Dinucci) 1595894823.0
"The ad called for donations to Perdue, a Republican, by claiming that 'Democrats are trying to buy Georgia.'"
"It uses black-and-white photos of Ossoff and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is also Jewish, that have been Photoshopped to appear as if they were pulled from an old television set with poor reception."
"But the Ossoff image, which was adapted from a 2017 Reuters photo of him, was also changed by having his nose lengthened and widened, even as other parts of his face stayed the same size and proportions, three graphic design experts told the Forward."
Three graphic designers said Ossoff’s nose was made wider and longer in the political ad targeting him, even as oth… https://t.co/e21HogMWLZ— Cliff Levy (@Cliff Levy) 1595896071.0
Perdue's campaign claims the offensive ad was "accidental," but many people with photoshop experience were doubtufl.
If Perdue won't apologize in full and without attempts to deflect, minimize, or explain what his campaign "really m… https://t.co/uBQLYaRUML— David Nir (@David Nir) 1595906485.0
The photo manipulation was so shameless that Ossoff felt compelled to respond online, calling out Perdue's excuses.
Sitting U.S. Senator David Perdue's digital attack ad distorted my face to enlarge and extend my nose. I'm Jewish.… https://t.co/AUpwVCpJi7— Jon Ossoff (@Jon Ossoff) 1595896099.0
Holy hell. Republican Sen. David Perdue has been running a Facebook ad that *made Jon Ossoff's nose bigger*. Oh, an… https://t.co/jMAtbVJSqd— David Nir (@David Nir) 1595893268.0
Perdue's campaign issued a statement, saying:
"In the graphic design process handled by an outside vendor, the photo was resized and a filter was applied, which appears to have caused an unintentional error that distorted the image."
Obviously, this was accidental, but to ensure there is absolutely no confusion, we have immediately removed the image from Facebook."
"Anybody who implies that this was anything other than an inadvertent error is intentionally misrepresenting Senator Perdue's strong and consistent record of standing firmly against anti-Semitism and all forms of hate."
This is far from Perdue's only controversy from the Senate.
Reminder: Sen. David Perdue bought stock in a company that produces protective medical equipment the same day senat… https://t.co/reJPkHhDgC— David Beard (@David Beard) 1595901309.0
On Twitter, very few were buying Perdue's excuses.
Everyone in politics knows this was no technical error. Shady Facebook ads are where campaigns try to do their targ… https://t.co/3W3ESbQ38G— Miryam Lipper (@Miryam Lipper) 1595896643.0
@cliffordlevy From my photo editing usage, it’s not possible to get this result from filters or resizing. Resizing… https://t.co/sNz7LM3VBj— Tom Snow (@Tom Snow) 1595904364.0
Photo editors made note of how Ossoff's nose had been changed without the rest of the image being distorted.
@cliffordlevy @johncusack I'm a graphic designer: 1) part of his cheek is missing from under his nose, making it lo… https://t.co/0ibNpzvbue— 🔥Allison🔥 (@🔥Allison🔥) 1595907831.0
Many called for Perdue's removal from office.
If you’d like to donate to remove David Perdue from office, you can do that right here: https://t.co/Ts4m89d4bA— David Nir (@David Nir) 1595903956.0
This is a sitting US Senator @sendavidperdue doing this! “Sen. David Perdue of Georgia deleted a Facebook ad targ… https://t.co/aqzJdMja3Z— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈) 1595899080.0
Like many, I am horrified by what I saw in Senator David Perdue’s attack ad against Jon Ossoff. Antisemitism has no… https://t.co/cT9M0hFjZe— Jen Jordan (@Jen Jordan) 1595942208.0
Anti-semitism is never acceptable, certainly not from a sitting U.S. Senator!
Updated: The Georgia Democratic Party and an Atlanta-based Jewish group are denouncing an anti-Semitic ad by Sen. D… https://t.co/8pMcJarqzv— Felicia Sonmez (@Felicia Sonmez) 1595946276.0
Republican Perdue's Senate ad joins criticism that the GOP darkened Democratic candidate Jaime Harrison's skin for ads for Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
ICYMI - Guess which version of @harrisonjaime is from a Lindsey Graham ad? https://t.co/4aR82U4NBL— Schooley (@Schooley) 1595624273.0
Did you guess? https://t.co/AGT3roMxDf— Schooley (@Schooley) 1595624350.0
The GOP was previously cited with darkening Barack Obama's skin color for campaign ads.
Voters will hopefully remember these incidents come November, when the 2020 elections will decide whether Perdue and Graham remain in office.