CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – The Harvard Lampoon is under fire for photoshopping Anne Frank onto a bikini-clad body. The Lampoon is run by Harvard University students and is the oldest satire magazine in the country. It is now apologizing and pledging to overhaul its editorial process.
It is hard to distract Harvard students during finals, but the latest issue of the Harvard Lampoon went way beyond that. In fact, many Jewish students were so angry they were demanding resignations at the 150-year-old comedy magazine.
The magazine featured a photoshopped picture of Anne Frank with the girl’s head stuck to the top of a bikini-clad body and the caption: “Gone Before Her Time: Virtual Aging Technology Shows Us What Anne Frank Would Have Looked Like if She Hadn’t Died”.
“Certain things are just not funny and they’ll never be funny,” said Rabbi Hirschy Zarchi, a Harvard chaplain.
Anne Frank, is one of the most recognizable figures from the Holocaust — a Jewish girl who was hidden from the Nazis by her father for years before being discovered and sent to a concentration camp where she perished. The heart-breaking diary she kept has been translated into 60 languages.
The Harvard Lampoon was swamped with student complaints, accusing the magazine of everything from anti-Semitism to trivializing genocide.
“We’re not joking,” said student Ilan Goldberg. “We’re not going down this slippery slope of making jokes about genocide about you know objectifying a girl who was killed in gas chambers.”
The Lampoon reversed course Tuesday night with a posting on its website which apologizes for “our negligence in allowing this piece to be created and printed.”
The magazine goes on to insist that it “condemns any and all forms of anti-Semitism.”
Going forward, the Lampoon pledges to approach its content with greater care and says it will set up a process to get more editorial oversight before the magazine is published.
“They’re ashamed of what they did,” Rabbi Zarchi said. “This was a terrible error and we all hope and I’m certain this will be a teaching moment not only for them but for all of us.”