How my own artwork gave me a lesson in racism

For the Operations Center scenes, I decided to go “Michael Bay style” as a color effect to differentiate the lab. What’s that? Well, look here:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OrangeBlueContrast
Basically, I pumped up the blue in the shadows, and added orange to the highlights and some of the midtones. and for some shots, it gave me the effect I wanted:

BEFOREDaniel

AFTERDaniel Filmic

Except for Nia and Jason. They have skin that is a shade of brown, Nia darker than Jason. And my color correction didn’t find their skin as a highlight.  It turned them darker, to the point where Nia blends into the background.
BEFORENia

AFTERNia Filmic

So I did some research, and I found this:
http://priceonomics.com/how-photography-was-optimized-for-white-skin/

Wow! I don’t think I’ll master color correction for their skin in time for NANOWRIMO.  I’ll have to go back and correct it for the Comixology Graphic novel.

But It just goes to show that privilege is insidious, and is in the places you don’t expect, and it is part of my job as an artist to look at things and go “that doesn’t look right. Why not?”

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