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Trump Jr. Used Refugee’s Skittles Photo Without Permission for Refugee Tweet



Donald Trump Jr. sparked controversy this week by Tweeting a photo of a bowl of Skittles to explain the “Syrian refugee problem.” Now the story has taken a strange new twist: the photographer behind the Skittles photo says that Trump Jr. used the photo without his permission. What’s more, the photographer himself was a refugee.

Here’s the Tweet that was posted on Monday:


Buzzfeed reports that the Skittles photo is the work of UK-based photographer David Kittos, who originally published it to his Flickr account 6 years ago. Kittos says the photo was marked “All Rights Reserved,” and that he never gave Trump Jr. approval for any usage of the image.

The original Skittles photo as it appeared on Flickr. Photo by David Kittos.
The original Skittles photo as it appeared on Flickr. Photo by David Kittos.

Kittos created the photo as a test for a $10 do-it-yourself macro photography studio shared by Strobist.

“The picture was lifted from my Flickr account without permission,” Kittos tells Buzzfeed. “I don’t approve of its use by Mr. Trump or his politics.”

Kittos says that he was a refugee himself, having left Cyprus back in 1974 as a 6-year-old after the Turkish invasion in 1974.

“I would never approve the use of this image against refugees,” Kittos tells the BBC. “I was thinking about getting lawyers involved but I don’t know if I have the patience.”

“This isn’t about the money for me,” he continues. “They could have just bought a cheap image from a micro stock library. […] They should not be stealing an image full stop.”