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Overweight Man Speaks Out Against Photoshopped Image; Mayor Defends It

NEW YORK (AP / CBSNewYork) - An overweight man who unwittingly became an amputee in advertisements that New York City is posting to warn against diabetes says he's worried the ads might hurt his acting career.

WCBS 880's Rich Lamb On The Story


27-year-old Cleo Berry of Los Angeles says he was "beyond shocked'' upon discovering that a photograph he posed for several years ago in Manhattan had turned up on the Internet - but showing him without one leg. The photo was digitally altered to make it look like Berry's right leg is missing. It appears on an ad warning that growing portion sizes can lead to diabetes and amputations.

Berry tells The New York Times that while he supports the city's efforts to educate people about the dangers of diabetes, he disagrees with the use of a manipulated image of an able-bodied person, instead of an image of a real victim.

City officials have defended the practice as common in advertising.

"I mean, just a common practice is to use when actors... It's the message and whether you Photoshop out a leg or you have somebody that says 'I always do something' when they don't," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday, adding that he didn't see anything wrong with it.

Do you think the city health department was right or wrong? Sound off in the comments section below!

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