Give us a smile

Apple takes heat for “smile” demo at big event

At a much anticipated product unveiling, a seemingly mundane tutorial has triggered accusations of sexism

Screen shot of the Adobe Photoshop demonstration at the Apple event on Wednesday, September 9 in San Francisco, Calif. (Twitter)

Following a hugely anticipated San Francisco event announcing new iPhones and a range of other products, tech companies Apple and Adobe have set the Twittersphere alight … for all the wrong reasons.

While demonstrating Adobe’s new Photoshop app for the new, bigger iPad – making it easier to edit photos – a designer imported a photo of a woman with a relaxed face and proceeded to manipulate her expression to a smile. The gesture especially rankled women, who have long endured harassment from men on the street: “You should smile more,” or “Hey, it can’t be that bad.”

The move is being called “tone-deaf” and unfortunate, given the tech industry has been in the firing line lately for its lack of diversity.

Here’s a GIF of the moment:

And here’s a sample of the reaction on Twitter, with some commenters pointing out the virtual model in the demonstration was the first woman to appear on the stage so far that day. There were 12 men on stage and three women on stage on Wednesday, according to one tally

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