Like many ill-advised companies before them, Snapchat’s attempt to capitalize on a holiday has resulted in an epic crash and burn. DJ Khaled’s favorite photo app is known for its revolving door of silly, amusing filters — you’ve likely been inundated with Coachella flower-crown ones this past week alone. However, their latest, which supposedly pays homage to Bob Marley, has users seriously up in arms.
Snapchat’s newest filter celebrates National Weed Day by allowing users to don Marley’s signature beanie, dreads, and — wait for it — darker skin tone. Lighting up is fun and all, and Marley’s a music legend that deserves to be honored, but … I’m just scratching my head wondering how the company thought that offering people the chance to go “blackface” constitutes as a tribute to the iconic Jamaican artist.
In a statement to the Guardian, Snapchat says the filter was created as a showing of “appreciation” for Marley:
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.
There are other ways to show your appreciation. A yellow, red, and green beanie would’ve sufficed, guys.