Twitter backlash over Snapchat’s ‘blackface’ Bob Marley filter

The filter, which lets users to give themselves dread locks and digital blackface, was launched on April 20, a counterculture holiday that celebrates cannabis.


Snapchat said the filter was created together with the Bob Marley estate.

Marley’s name was a top trending topic on Twitter, with nearly 90,000 mentions as of Wednesday afternoon.

Woah. Isn’t the Bob Marley Snapchat 420 filter essentially blackface?

— Donie O’Sullivan (@donie) April 20, 2016Snapchat Bob Marley lens works terrifyingly well..partly why the outcome is so enraging 苏州美甲培训学校,长沙SPA,/wMbE6FO51j pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/wq3B3GHYFd

— Hope King (@lisahopeking) April 20, 2016I’m confused as to how the Bob Marley @Snapchat filter made it through all stages of development without someone saying “um no.”

— Abby Nierman (@abbyybba) April 20, 2016This Bob Marley Snapchat filter seems misguided pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/aPRoEdjdwf

— Elle Hunt (@mlle_elle) April 20, 2016

Others lamented the culture of political correctness.

This Bob Marley snapchat filter. Yet again, we can’t do anything without people calling everything racist

— Dudley (@NickWinchester9) April 20, 2016

A Snapchat spokesman said in an emailed statement, “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.”

The Rita Marley Foundation, the nonprofit founded by Marley’s widow, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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