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Kerry Washington talks Adweek cover scandal on TODAY: 'It felt altered'

During a Friday visit to TODAY, Kerry Washington spoke to Matt Lauer about the magazine cover that left her unable to recognize her own photo.
/ Source: TODAY

Kerry Washington is the leading lady of the prime-time hit "Scandal," the main focus in HBO's political drama "Confirmation" and the star on this week's cover of Adweek. And one of those roles has caused quite a controversy — with the actress herself.

During a Friday visit to TODAY, Washington spoke to Matt Lauer about the magazine cover that left her unable to recognize her own photo.

"My big complaint was that it felt altered — in general," she said of the image. "It wasn't that there was something specific. It was the feeling of looking at something and knowing that it had been altered."

And seeing a face she didn't know on the cover was particularly upsetting considering what was inside the magazine.

MORE: Kerry Washington has amazing advice for her 18-year-old self

"I was really proud of the interview and really proud of the article," Washington said. "It talks a lot about my business relationships and how hard I've worked to build those relationships with those brands. I was really excited about the article. [But] when I saw the cover, I was taken aback."

In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Washington noted that it "felt strange to look at a picture of myself that is so different from what I look like when I look in the mirror. It's an unfortunate feeling."

And as she explained on TODAY, it wasn't a feeling she could ignore.

kerry washington

"I just felt like, in order for me to promote the magazine — which I wanted to do because I think the article's great — I had to at least address [it], cause I knew other people would notice it did not look like me," she said.

MORE: Kerry Washington says she didn't recognize herself in Photoshopped Adweek cover

After she first spoke out about it, Adweek's editorial director James Cooper acknowledged that the cover shot had been tweaked — but only mentioned an alteration to her hairstyle.

Later, in a response to a fan of the actress, Cooper added, "In our effort to celebrate her we went too far."

During his Friday chat with Washington, Lauer pointed that there are times when a little photo fix isn't unwelcome.

kerry washington, matt lauer

"When they airbrush me in pictures, I'm all for it!" he joked.

"It's not always bad," Washington agreed. "A wrinkle here, a wrinkle there ... [but] it should still look like the person."

And just so she's not misunderstood, she added with a laugh," I meant wrinkles on clothes, by the way. Wrinkles on faces are beautiful."

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