The Truth Behind This Controversial Picture Finally Revealed

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A black actor’s holiday photograph sparked a social media backlash over colorism – because some people thought a black woman with a dark complexion looked like she was being excluded from a group of lighter-skinned women.

Actor and model Lance Gross, who is best known for his role on the TBS sitcom Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, posted the holiday photo of himself and his wife Rebecca Jefferson and their seven friends to his Twitter.

Lance Gross and his wife, Rebecca (seen second from right) take a Christmas photo with friends. The image shows four couples and one woman conspicuously alone and off to the side
Lance Gross and his wife, Rebecca (seen second from right) take a Christmas photo with friends. The image shows four couples and one woman conspicuously alone and off to the side

Everyone in the image is paired up, except for one woman who is sitting off to the side with a look of disinterest on her face.

It sparked a fierce debate with some social media users quick to accuse Gross of colorism because the woman concerned is the only one without a partner, is on the fringes of the group and is darker skinned than the other women.

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Gross tried to defend himself by posting this image on Instagram showing pictures from past years. In the photos, the same woman is sitting on her own while couples sit nearby
Gross tried to defend himself by posting this image on Instagram showing pictures from past years. In the photos, the same woman is sitting on her own while couples sit nearby

One commenter wrote: ‘This picture says white supremacy has won.’

But one of the people defending the photograph is the very same woman who is sitting off to the side without a partner.

Attempting to calm the row, she explained the pose is an inside joke among the friends because she is the only single person and has become an annual holiday tradition.

She wrote: ‘ALL OF US in this photo are beautiful Black people.

‘NEWSFLASH: Black people come in ALL shades!! And just so everyone can RELAX, the photo is a annual tradition– ITS A JOKE! I’m dating someone special, but he didn’t come to Big Bear this year. I take a pic like this EVERY YEAR making fun of the fact that I’m the only single one in the couples pic. Calm down people! Go enjoy your family, and stop worrying about OURS!!’

Gross responded with a tweet that the group had been doing the same joke for years and followed it up with a collage of images on his Instagram page.

Then  on his Instagram account, Gross on Tuesday posted a photo of the late rapper Tupac Shakur holding up his middle finger.

‘All I have to say about all this ignorant s*** at the moment,’ Gross wrote in the caption next to the photo of Shakur.

This did not satisfy his critics, who continued to accuse him of promoting the exclusion of dark-skinned black women and called for a boycott of his work.

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One asked: ‘Should I have an issue that all the ‘wives’ are light-skinned or that the one brown skin sister doesn’t have a mate or is not in a ‘couple’! What the hell is going on here?’

This did not satisfy his critics, who continued to accuse him of promoting the exclusion of dark-skinned black women and called for a boycott of his work.

Gross  married Rebecca Jefferson last year. They have a child together
Gross  married Rebecca Jefferson last year. They have a child together

One asked: ‘Should I have an issue that all the ‘wives’ are light-skinned or that the one brown skin sister doesn’t have a mate or is not in a ‘couple’! What the hell is going on here?’

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