“I’m very sad,” Mr. Troilo said after learning that the award had been rescinded. He said the controversy had begun after World Press Photo rewrote his original photo captions, and he said he thought the organization had been looking for “an exit strategy.” “It seems a big injustice,” he said.
The controversy erupted last week and was more focused on a photo in which Mr. Troilo had photographed his cousin having sex with a woman in the back of a car, using a remote-control flash to illuminate the steamy back seat. By putting a flash in the car, critics had said, Mr. Troilo effectively staged the photo, violating the rules of the contest. The photographer disagreed.
The World Press Photo jury at the time said his work — which won in the Contemporary Issues category — could be seen as documentary photography or portraiture, where such use of a flash is considered acceptable.