Kemp Campaign Darkens Abrams’ Skin in New TV Ad

October 3, 2022

“There’s really no way around pinpointing the racial intent of what’s happening.” 

Gov. Brian Kemp is facing scrutiny for his new TV ad attacking Stacey Abrams which darkened Abrams’ skin. 11Alive reports that Abrams skin appears “noticeably darker” in the new Kemp ad and during Symone Sanders’ MSNBC show, it was noted that this is the “GOP southern strategy politics in 2022.

More from 11Alive: Darkened skin in anti-Abrams ad racially charged, ‘pernicious,’ political analyst says:

  • Democrat Stacey Abrams, running for governor, is warmly lit in an ad that describes a tax increase she says she blocked while in the legislature.
  • But when Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s team got hold of it, it turned the image against Abrams. She looked less warm, and the African American woman is noticeably darker.
  • “When you’re changing skin tone — especially since this has happened before — there’s really no way around pinpointing the racial intent of what’s happening,” said Dr. Andra Gillespie, an Emory political science professor.
  • She said it’s not uncommon. Political races that may have a racially charged undertone can come out in the open when Black opponents are “blackened.”
  • Kemp’s ad has several images of Abrams that appear to be darker than the original. His team said Kemp’s campaign uses filters and overlays in their production of video just like every campaign in the country – and says it’s ridiculous to suggest it might be racially motivated.
  • Yet Gillespie calls it pernicious to darken the skin of a Black candidate.
  • “You can catch people with scowls on their faces and use those tones. But it’s another thing to change the tone of their skin and emphasize and signal to voters that this person is Black, and that’s a bad thing,” she said.

More from MSNBC: “It’s Average GOP Southern Strategy Politics in 2022”:

  • Symone Sanders: “The Republican incumbent governor, Brian Kemp — he’s under fire…the filter his campaign used over Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams in a new ad, a filter that resulted in the darkening of her skin.”
  • Clay Cane: “Well, you know what it is? It’s average GOP southern strategy politics in 2022. This is — this is their version of trying to make Democrats scary. This is their version of saying, here’s a scary candidate who’s running.”


Other News from DPG

Questions? Tips? Call anytime.

Georgia Voter Protection Line


Democratic Party of Georgia

Help us elect Democrats in Georgia.