Snapchat tried to celebrate ‘4/20’ by releasing a Bob Marley-themed filter on April 20. Instead, they ended up with a lot of angry users slamming Snapchat for a ‘racist’ filter that gives people ‘digital blackface.’ Click to see!
Way to be a buzzkill, Snapchat. The social media service tried to be cool by unveiling a new filter that turns people into the Jamaican reggae icon, Bob Marley, in honor of “4/20.” While some users, including Kylie Jenner, 18, were ecstatic by this new feature, others called it out for being totally racist!
Snapchat certainly made this 4/20 one to remember. Their filter puts Bob’s face and dreadlocks over the user’s head, turning them into the “One Love” singer. The filter even works when shooting video, which Kylie demonstrated when she shot a vid of her saying, “4/20. Yaaas, bitch!” This new feature is tied to 4/20 becaue Bob supported pot’s legalization, once calling the drug “the healing of a nation,” according to Forbes. Even after his death, he remains a major marijuana icon.
Not everyone was as excited to celebrate the marijuana-themed holiday with Snapchat’s filter. Some wondered “who’s stupid idea was it to give everyone blackface?” The practice of painting your face to pretend to be African-American (or in this case, Jamaican) is considered incredibly racist and users blasted Snapchat for their “misguided” decision. This wouldn’t be the first time Kylie has been caught up in a blackface controversy, as she was accused of it during a 2015 photo shoot.
“The lens we launched today was created in partnership with the Bob Marley Estate,” a Snapchat spokesperson told Global News. “[It] d gives people a new way to share their appreciation for Bob Marley and his music.”
“It’s definitely in poor taste,” one person said, while others wondered why Snapchat didn’t realize they were going to get into some major trouble. Some even said that this filter “made [them] cringe,” while others called it out for being kind of “weird.” It is sort of weird to swap out your face with the mug of a dead reggae star and political activist. If you want to celebrate Bob Marley without using this filter, stream his music – and all the reggae jams you want – after signing up for unlimited and ad-free tunes here.
Snapchat Bob Marley filter. Who's stupid idea was it to give everyone blackface?…..
— Luis Miguel Morera (@Capruce) April 20, 2016
I don't necessarily find that Bob Marley filter to be racist, but it's definitely in poor taste.
— Yayo Angelou (@LawlessEm) April 20, 2016
— Ali Lynds (@AliLynds27) April 20, 2016
Why is there a Bob Marley snapchat filter???????????? Like it occurred to no one that it is blackface?
— Tara (@taraamazing) April 20, 2016
looking at this Bob Marley filter. pic.twitter.com/ZfT5zaGQQj
— Melanie. (@_melegancy) April 20, 2016
but of course Kylie Jenner used that terrible Bob Marley Snapchat filter pic.twitter.com/3Ieoz48ust
— Elena Cresci (@elenacresci) April 20, 2016
Snapchat was doing so good until this Bob Marley filter
— the Gingerbeard Man. (@TrelloDeLaGetto) April 20, 2016
The Bob Marley filter on Snapchat makes me cringe
— James Condo (@jacondo4) April 20, 2016
the bob marley snap filter is not okay… its weird
— chiefcheef (@jameeeeelah) April 20, 2016
This Bob Marley Snapchat filter seems misguided pic.twitter.com/aPRoEdjdwf
— Elle Hunt (@mlle_elle) April 20, 2016
4/20 definitely started off on a weird foot, thanks to Snapchat resurrecting Bob from the dead. If you’ve ever wondered how April 20 became the Christmas of Cannabis or the Super Bowl of smoking weed, you have four stoners in California to thank for popularizing the term “4/20.”
What do you think about the Snapchat filter, HollywoodLifers? Is it racist or a way to celebrate the life and legacy of Bob Marley?