Snapchat's Bob Marley Filter Was Not a Smart Idea

Rolling Stone
Ah, April 20th, the day where some people like to celebrate all things associated with cannabis. It's not an official holiday and not one you'll find on most calendars, but even Snapchat decided to get in on the action this year with disastrous consequences. For some reason, someone thought it would be a good idea to celebrate the day with a Bob Marley Snapchat filter that not only insulted his legacy but caused the people who used the filter to blackface as well.

The Next Web

You have to wonder who thought this was actually a good idea. Snapchat is usually pretty on the money with what teenagers want, but they've now stepped into a virtual minefield. For one thing, why are they trying to celebrate 4/20 in the first place? Without getting into a whole argument about drugs, when Snapchat try to celebrate this way, they do perpetuate the idea that drugs are cool and legal or not, this isn't a message that should be thrown at teenagers. They already think they're cool due to stereotypes they see in music and on TV, and this doesn't really need any more encouragement. The sad thing is though that this isn't even the worst thing about this filter.

It's unbelievable that in this day and age, even after blackface has been on the news, Snapchat would still think that it's okay to release a filter that transforms your skin colour. People shouldn't make themselves look black for a costume, a picture or anything like that if they aren't black. You have to consider how badly so many black men and women are treated for having their skin be the colour it is and how offensive it is that many people are using this filter for a laugh. It's unsurprising that so many people are mad about this because Snapchat is such a large company and they shouldn't be enforcing such behaviour, let alone giving users the opportunity to do black face themselves.

The other issue is that Bob Marley's name and face has been used to celebrate this day. Bob Marley was an extremely talented musician and is a great symbol for Jamaica. He was a Rastafarian who believed in the use of marijuana for spiritual reasons, but that wasn't all he was. Bob Marley is used as a symbol for many drug users and white people use him as an excuse for why it's okay for them to have dreads and act like that's all he really was. It's incredibly sad and it isn't the way he should be memorialised. The Bob Marley estate was aware of this filter and it was aware of the day that they were going to release it and that just feels a lot like they were selling him out.

Snapchat made a huge mistake on all sides by releasing this filter and there's no possible way to argue otherwise.

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