Kerry Washington
Actress Kerry Washington attends the Producers Guild Awards in Los Angeles January 24, 2015. Reuters/Phil McCarten

Kerry Washington’s cover photograph on InStyle Magazine’s March issue sparked outrage as the “Scandal” actress is seen in a significantly lighter skin tone, giving rise to speculations that the photo may have been doctored. The magazine released a statement, late Thursday, stating that "cover lighting" could be possibly responsible for the change in color.

"While we did not digitally lighten Kerry's skin tone, our cover lighting has likely contributed to this concern," the magazine reportedly said in the statement. “We understand that this has resulted in disappointment and hurt. We are listening, and the feedback has been valuable. We are committed to ensuring that this experience has a positive influence on the ways in which we present all women going forward.”

The magazine’s response to the outrage was also praised by the 38-year-old actress.

“Beautiful statement. Thank u 4 opening this convo. Its an important 1 that needs to be had,” Washington wrote on her Twitter account.

Washington shared the cover photo on her Instagram account, following which fans had started raising questions about the picture.

“Why is she white in this picture," a social media user commented on her post, while another wrote: “They white washed her face and then annihilated her beautiful full lips.”

Here are some of the tweets from social media users about Washington's photograph on InStyle magazine's cover.