Should ABC viewers feel cheated by ANH DO and that 7 year old image of Chef KYLIE KWONG?

Kylie Kwong wearing her round red glasses on Anh’s Brush With Fame
image - ABC

A repeat episode of Mad As Hell wasn’t the only thing that had ABC viewers confused on Wednesday night, with many also questioning just what was the deal with a changing pair of glasses on Anh’s Brush With Fame.

The episode featured a moving interview with celebrity chef Kylie Kwong as talked openly about the loss of child, and the difficulty of coming out as homosexual to her parents.

However, it was the final reveal of the portrait which caused some confusion for viewers. The painting displayed Kwong wearing a pair of green square frame glasses, rather than the round red frame pair she had been wearing throughout the interview process

Upon the reveal of the portrait, Kwong expressed her delight at the work done by host Anh Do, the chef went on to comment that she loved how the portrait made her look “a lot younger” than she actually was.

Perhaps this youthful complexion wasn’t so surprising given TV Blackbox can now confirm the portrait was inspired by a 2012 photo of Kwong. The photo taken by Toby Burrows for a profile interview published by Dumbo Feather magazine bares a striking similarity to the portrait presented by Do.

Left - The original photo of Kylie Kwong taken by photographer Toby Burrows in 2012.
Right - The 2019 portrait of Kylie Kwong as painted by Anh Do.

A spokesperson for the ABC attempted to explain the confusion today by telling TV Tonight, “painting sessions are conducted over several hours on a closed set”, and that photos or sketches are used by Anh to allow “subjects to relax and talk”

While it’s not unusual for TV productions to use a bit of trickery to save time and expense. In this case when the entire premise of the program is the creation of a portrait during a challenging interview, is it really fair on viewers if the final result is actually the just a recreation of an image captured long ago by someone else?

It also poses an interesting legal issue regarding if the programs producers, Screentime had requested permission to recreate the copyrighted photo, or made a payment to the photographer involved.