Photojournalist quits as Canon ambassador as brand faces non-inclusivity backlash

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 22) — Filipino photojournalist Jilson Tiu has decided to withdraw as one of the brand ambassadors of Canon Philippines after the company faced backlash for a campaign void of diversity.

Canon on Monday released its list of brand ambassadors for 2021 composed of 11 male photographers from different fields.

It was heavily criticized for not including any woman or LGBTQ+ photographers in the lineup.

In a statement, Canon Marketing Philippines Inc. said it supports camera enthusiasts and content creators regardless of gender, culture, customs, language, or race.

Netizens, however, pointed out that the statement was a "non-apology."

Tiu broke his silence on Wednesday. Clueless about the details behind the campaign, he said he was hopeful a woman can be added to the roster, which was revealed in batches.

A photographer working with Canon for years now, Tiu said this incident was his "tipping point" and he was dropping the opportunity to become one of the brand's ambassadors.

"What I don’t like is they didn’t apologize for the mistake that they’ve done," he said in a Facebook post. "They should make up for it and apologize publicly."

Tiu said his decision came about after the realization that he does not have the same principles as the brand.

"Thank you Canon for the three years, I will continue to use your camera as a tool, but I don’t want to be an ambassador to a brand that doesn’t align with my principles," the lensman stated.

"Paalam at salamat, magkaiba tayo ng daan na nilalakaran [Good bye and thank you. We are taking different paths]," he added.