Snapchat Tries to Celebrate 4/20 and Fails Spectacularly with Blackface Bob Marley Filter
Published Apr 20, 2016Using Snapchat to document your jet ski travels to and from lunch at Rick Ross's Miami mansion? Excellent and entertaining use of modern technology. Using Snapchat to paint your face black in an attempt to emulate Bob Marley on this holy day of ganja? Not so much.
In honour of 4/20, Snapchat launched a new filter this morning (April 20) that allows users to superimpose dreadlocks and a dark skin tone atop their selfies.
The spectacularly stupid move has come under fire on social media for enabling users to paint themselves in "digital blackface."
In addition to the myriad problems with promoting racist face decorating, critics have also pointed out that the special 4/20 lens reduces Marley's musical legacy to a cheap weed joke.
Perhaps most bizarre of all, though, Marley's estate signed off on the app's idea. A Snapchat spokesperson has issued a statement in response to the online backlash, which reads:
The lens we launched today was created in partnership with the Bob Marley Estate, and gives people a new way to share their appreciation for Bob Marley and his music. Millions of Snapchatters have enjoyed Bob Marley's music, and we respect his life and achievements.
At the time of publication, the Marley filter is still available through the app, though users looking to show their penchant for pot-smoking without being overtly racist might want to opt for the Time Traveling Bong lens instead.