Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Doctored Rainbow Picture Causes Big Confusion

The doctored rainbow picture from the Museum's Facebook page.

The doctored rainbow picture from the Museum’s Facebook page.

Let’s get this out of the way: It’s fake.

The original Facebook status, top, and the edited status, below.

The original Facebook status, top, and the edited status, below.

The picture of rainbow banners draped from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to celebrate the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision is a doctored image, a Photoshop gone wrong that confused and downright infuriated a good number of the Museum’s Facebook followers who thought the picture was real.

Sure, the Museum admitted that the image was “a digital render and a symbol of our support,” but that was hours after the initial picture was posted with the following caption:

“The Museum is flying rainbow banners in celebration of the Supreme Court’s decision on same sex marriage. ‘Like’ if you support #MarriageEquality for everyone!”

Obviously, the message and the picture were convincing enough to some readers to actually visit the Museum in search of the rainbow flags. One reader posted, “Another reason why I’m making a special trip up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art—they are always cutting edge as well as old school.”

Other readers weren’t as kind:

“Before I took a cab up here on my lunch hour, that would’ve been nice to know.”

“Yeah, drove an hour to get a photo of this… Which was NOT the flags they had flying. Wasted gas, wasted time, but still a wonderful day for our country!”

“Your description is made for people to believe that the flags are there. You should fix that…I can’t believe you would take advantage of the situation. The LGBTQ community deserves an apology and you should be more forthright with your ‘marketing and advertising’ posts.”

“Now that you’ve done this virtually, you need to do it for real. I understand the need to promote a huge exhibit, but then you should have found another way to commemorate the SCOTUS decision.”

The Museum did respond to one of the critical comments, stating, “The banners are a digital render and a symbol of our support. We’re glad you like them and support marriage equality.” Museum press representatives did not immediately return our inquiries for comment.