Georgia senator removes ad that enlarged Jewish opponent’s nose
Facing accusations of anti-Semitism, Georgia Republican Sen. David Perdue has taken down a digital campaign ad featuring a manipulated image of his Jewish opponent Jon Ossoff with an enlarged nose.
The Facebook ad showed Ossoff next to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who also is Jewish, above a banner that read: “Democrats are trying to buy Georgia! Help David Perdue fight back!”
Jewish media outlet The Forward reported that the grainy image – made to look like it was pulled from an old TV — was manipulated to make Ossoff’s nose appear bigger than in the original photograph.
Ossoff’s nose is “the primary difference where the altered version is larger than the original,” Maurice Meilleur, who teaches graphic design at Iowa State University, told the outlet.
Perdue’s campaign pushed back against suggestions that it had played on an anti-Semitic trope, calling the effect an accident.
“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,” a campaign rep told The Forward in a statement.
“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.”
Ossoff said in a tweet later that the explanation didn’t pass the smell test.
“Sitting U.S. Senator David Perdue’s digital attack ad distorted my face to enlarge and extend my nose. I’m Jewish. This is the oldest, most obvious, least original anti-Semitic trope in history,” he wrote.
“Senator, literally no one believes your excuses,” he added.
The ad, which ran since Wednesday before being pulled, had a potential reach of over a million accounts, according to Facebook data cited by The Forward.
Perdue is running a second term in November as Republicans look to hold on to the White House and Senate majority.
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