U.S. Archives Rues ‘Mistake’ of Blurring Trump Protest Images

Laura Davison

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. National Archives says it made a mistake by blurring images depicting protest signs critical of President Donald Trump in a promotional display for a new exhibit on women’s sufferage.

“As the National Archives of the United States, we are and have always been completely committed to preserving our archival holdings, without alteration,” the independent agency in charge of the preservation of government and historical records said on Twitter Saturday.

The archives said it altered parts of an image from the 2017 Women’s March in Washington to remove Trump’s name on signs. At least one placard reading “God Hates Trump” was changed to merely say “God Hates,” according to the Washington Post, which reported the edits earlier Saturday.

Some references to women’s anatomy were also removed. The photo was part of a promotional display for a new exhibit about the 100-year anniversary of women’s suffrage.

The archives said it removed the altered photo and will replace it will an unedited version.

“We apologize, and will immediately start a thorough review of our exhibit policies and procedures so that this does not happen again,” the National Archives tweeted.

The American Civil Liberties Union said the apology wasn’t enough.

“The National Archives must explain to the public why it even took the Orwellian step of trying to rewrite history and erasing women’s bodies from it, as well as who ordered it,” Louise Melling, ACLU deputy legal director, said in an emailed statement.

An estimated 500,000 people participated in the 2017 Women’s March in Washington on the day after Trump’s inauguration, and many more marched in other U.S. cities and around the world. The event was widely regarded as a protest against the new president.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Davison in Washington at ldavison4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Ros Krasny, Steve Geimann

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