In a massive stroke of irony, the photographer whose image of a bowl filled with Skittles was used in Donald Trump Jr.’s tweet comparing refugees to poisoned candy says that he was a refugee himself.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 19, 2016
David Kittos, a U.K.-based photographer, told the BBC on Tuesday that he disagreed with the Trump campaign’s rhetoric about refugees and said he would never have granted permission to use his image.
“This was not done with my permission, I don’t support his politics and I would never take his money to use it,” Kittos said.
“In 1974, when I was six-years old, I was a refugee from the Turkish occupation of Cyprus so I would never approve the use of this image against refugees,” he added.
Kittos, who is now a British citizen, posted the photo to file-sharing Flickr in 2010 but did not make it available for public use.
He told the BBC that the campaign’s use of the photograph free of charge amounted to “pure greed” and that he hoped the campaign would delete the tweet.
Variations of the anti-refugee meme using Skittles and M&Ms have in recent years become popular among white nationalists and anti-immigrant activists online.