Newsweek deleted a photo it posted on Twitter showing civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in his coffin after outrage over the image erupted.
King’s daughter, Bernice King, brought attention to the tweet with her post simply asking why, and Newsweek later apologized for using the disturbing photo.
The image appeared during an already trying time for the King family. Isaac Newton Farris Sr., the husband of Christine King Farris and brother-in-law of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., died peacefully at home on Dec. 30 at the age of 83.
“Today, my heart is heavy. After the passing of Granddaddy King in 1984, Uncle Isaac (Isaac Farris Sr.) was the only older male on the King side of my family,” Bernice King posted.
“He and Aunt Christine (my daddy’s sister) were surrogate parents. Rest in Heaven, Uncle Isaac. I will greatly miss you!”
Isaac Farris had been a founding member of the King Center Board of Trustees. Martin Luther King Jr. and brother A.D. King officiated at the Farrises’ 1960 wedding.
Supporters are lauding Bernice King’s handling of the troubling photo. Newsweek later said it used the photo to promote an upcoming series on the year 1968.
I give @BerniceKing all the credit for her grace in handling this. I know for a fact that if someone did to me what @Newsweek did to her and her family, I would have lost every bit of my mind. https://t.co/BIOUJSb4c0— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) January 1, 2018
Incredibly insensitive.— Kathy (@KathypKathy) January 1, 2018
Out of all of the pictures you have of Martin, you chose this one? Why?— lauren* london (@laa_ren) January 1, 2018
The jarring image accompanied a synopsis of coverage from another outlet. The image does not appear with the original content, a piece on notable milestones including the 50th anniversaries of the deaths of King and Sen. Robert Kennedy, posted by the Council on Foreign Relations.
Newsweek posted this apology in response to Bernice King’s tweet.
Earlier this afternoon we published an opinion piece with an insensitive image of Martin Luther King Jr. We sincerely apologize to the King family for this egregious error.— Newsweek (@Newsweek) January 1, 2018