Fans originally raised their concern over social media, claiming that the women's fashion magazine had made Washington's skin lighter, which prompted InStyle to clear the air.
"We are super fans of Kerry Washington here at InSyle. To feature her on the cover of our March spring fashion issue is both an honor and a delight," their statement read.
"We have heard from those who have spoken out about our newsstand cover photograph, concerned that Kerry's skin tone was lightened. While we did not digitally lighten Kerry's skin tone, our cover lighting has likely contributed to this concern."
It continued, "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."
Washington herself took to Twitter to address the controversy, tweeting: "Beautiful statement. Thank u 4 opening this convo. It’s an important 1 that needs to be had."