Over the past few days, the BeyHive was on fire when it was alleged that Beyoncé's "On The Run Tour" costume designer Michael Costello may have called another designer the n-word after there was some controversy over whether or not he was trying to steal one of her designs. The screenshot of the alleged Instagram comment went viral, and the public called for black artists to stop wearing Costello's designs, including John Legend's wife Chrissy Teigen, who blasted the designer on Twitter.
Although Michael himself said that it was a fake, he's back with an official statement from his reps proving that the photo was altered and he never used the racial slur.
According to his rep, they believe the fake screenshot was done by an intern who left the company on bad terms.
I have never used, and would never use, racial slurs,” Costello expressed. “The hurtful screenshot circulating is fake and does not represent my views on society, nor do I condone the use of such a terrible term. I have worked my whole life to further the cause of equality. Diversity is the very foundation that Michael Costello (the brand) was built upon. I am deeply upset and I am struggling to understand why someone would try to tarnish my reputation by creating a fake screenshot of me using a derogatory term.”
Fortunately, Instagram has been very cooperative in working with Mr. Costello to delete accounts created by the people who created the false picture and who are attempting to disseminate it,” said Neama Rahmani, Michael Costello’s attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers. “Mr. Costello and his attorneys will continue working with Instagram and the legal system to bring these cyber bullies to justice.
Proving that it was a fake, they also provided this information:
It is impossible to view a comment posted on an Instagram photo with the “now” timestamp, as seen in the screenshot below.
This image portrays a screenshot insinuating Michael Costello posted a derogatory comment on a photo. Upon closer inspection and understanding of how time stamping works on Instagram it is obvious the comment was fraudulently altered after it was taken and was posted by the same person who took the screenshot. When you post a comment on an Instagram picture, you must do it from the same screen seen in the image alleging the comment was posted (image to the left). Once you post the comment, it immediately time stamps it as “now” (circled in red) and the timer begins counting in increments, by the second, on the right hand side, noting the length of time it has been since the comment was posted, every time you refresh (you must be on the screen to type a comment to see the time stamp).
Do you believe the hype?
We all can agree that Stephanie Costello (Michael's sister) could have handled the situation with the up-and-coming designer a lot better, [Click here to read the backstory] however, if an intern really went out of their way to tarnish Michael's reputation, legal action for defamation of character should definitely be pursued immediately.