It wouldn’t be 4/20 if there wasn’t a Bob Marley/weed story, would it?
Snapchat is celebrating the nicest day of the year by adding a Bob Marley filter, but the high of the day has already worn off because it unfortunately gives photos the impression of using digital blackface.
The filter gives the user dreadlocks, Marley’s signature hat and… oh no…
Oh my god oh my god oh my god snapchat put a "Bob Marley" filter and it's… bad and in poor taste, to say the least pic.twitter.com/syAHGXp3f6
— Alp Ozcelik (@alplicable) April 20, 2016
Some people are calling that digital blackface, and while that’s certainly evident, why is one of the best musicians of all time being reduced to solely a symbol about hash?
Regardless, once the internet noticed the filter may be on the wrong side of the line, the avalanche came down…
Snapchat's half-baked 420 nod is a Bob Marley blackface filter?! Dude was Jamaican! Did waaaay more than smoke weed. pic.twitter.com/t6tazxnMxT
— Brian Ries (@moneyries) April 20, 2016
Is this a joke?! Not only are they perpetuating a very damaging narrative but they're using literal blackface?!?!? https://t.co/Qm6oKvMCrN
— Tiss, Filthy Radical (@NaturallyTiss) April 20, 2016
Is Snapchat high today. Is this a smart filter for 420? Digital BlackFace? Why not just hat + dreads and a quote? pic.twitter.com/OaQ6VDMYgv
— Jeremiah Gibson (@TheGibbles) April 20, 2016
For their part, Snapchat doesn’t seem to think it’s a big deal.
“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,” Snapchat told Tech Insider in a statement. “Millions of Snapchatters have enjoyed Bob Marley’s music, and we respect his life and achievements.”
If you are planning on using a Snapchat filter to honor this day, maybe just digitally add a picture of an empty Cheetos bag and a Papa John’s box. Or a simple Bob Marley quote may suffice.