NBC Softens Lia Thomas' Masculine Features In Edited Photo Without Photographer's Permission

NBC’s Today fawned over Lia Thomas, a biological male now dominating female swimming, earlier this week.

Today, of course, didn't mention Thomas' inherent physical advantages or the female swimmers struggling to compete against him. Instead, NBC doctored a photo of Thomas to hide his masculine features.

Here's the original photo as well as the one NBC showed its viewers:

The woman who took the photo, Erica Denhoff, says NBC “softened" the picture without her knowledge or permission.

"I pride myself on providing authentic images as a photojournalist," Denhoff told the Washington Examiner. "It's really important as photojournalists that we transmit authentic photos that have not been altered."

Denhoff takes the edit personally, having graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, the college for which Thomas swims. Denhoff also competed in women's track and field, so she is well aware of the disadvantages women face when competing against men. 

“When I first noticed the airbrushing on the segment referenced, I thought something was honestly wrong with the video. But then, I watched it again and thought, ‘Wait a minute, this appears to be intentional. Lia’s features are softened,'” Denhoff said. “I then went to my original photo on the sites that they could access to license the photo, and compared it and immediately saw a difference.

“I’m surprised and disappointed that Today altered my image of Lia for this particular news segment.”

Unfortunately, I'm not surprised.

This is where we are. The morning show that was once No. 1 in the country is now deceiving its viewers by making a biological male look less manly, even as its hosts gush over his bravery in competing against women.

What a disturbing, unethical programming decision these stooges made. Good on Denhoff for calling them out for such naked dishonesty.

Written by
Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics.. Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.