Image for Outrage Over Bob Marley Blackface Snapchat Filter

Outrage Over Bob Marley Blackface Snapchat Filter

Written by Nicholas Hartman on April 21, 2016

What better way to celebrate the unofficial annual celebration of blazing it up – 20 April, or as Americans say 4/20 – with the youth of today than to have a complimentary Snapchat filter? What’s more, why not make it a Bob Marley filter, complete with beanies, dreads, and, ah, blackface?

Well, that’s what at least one exec at Snapchat must have thought in the launch of their newest filter, which superimposes Marley’s signature dreads, hat and for some reason, skin tone, over a user’s face.

As expected, people are not having it:

Interestingly, criticism of Snapchat reducing all Bob Marley’s achievements to merely being a man who liked to smoke pot hasn’t really caught on in the news media.

In a wanky statement given to the Guardian, Snapchat HQ have said the following:

“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 time of writing, the filter is still there, so it seems, at least for now, Snapchat are standing by their decision.

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