Snapchat Under Fire For Bob Marley ‘Digital Blackface’

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Bob Marley

‘Snapchat has caused outrage among Bob Marley fans.

The messaging app introduced a new feature on “National Weed Day” by allowing users to create an instant “Digital Blackface” of themselves to resemble reggae legend Bob Marley who was an avid weed smoker till his untimely death at the age of 36 from cancer.

The Jamaican born Rastafarian was one of music’s all time greats who used weed for spiritual enlightenment that reflected in his work, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time with over 75 million records sold worldwide.

Bob Marley High Times reports:

Many took to Twitter to criticize Snapchat for racial insensitivity, calling the selfie lens “digital blackface.” Others pointed out that by releasing the filter on 4/20, Snapchat has reduced Marley’s musical legacy to that of a stoner.

“This 420 celebration glosses over the cultural significance that cannabis has in the Rasta culture, where it is regarded as extremely sacred, and not just something used for a daily kickback,” Aaisha Dadi Patel wrote in a piece for South Africa’s Daily Vox. “But besides that, Snapchat is reducing the legacy of a musical great to smoking weed.”

A spokesperson for Snapchat responded to Buzzfeed’s request for a comment with the following 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.”

Bob Marley


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