Snapchat Releases a Controversial Bob Marley Filter on 4/20

April 20th 2016

Kyle Jaeger

Snapchat's attempt to celebrate 4/20, the unofficial holiday for marijuana enthusiasts, backfired on Wednesday after users discovered a Bob Marley filter that gives users virtual blackface.

Bob Marley

Complete with stereotypical dreads, a Rasta beanie, and Marley's "Don't Worry Be Happy" playing in the background, the filter was meant to pay homage to one of the marijuana movement's most famous figures. But instead, the filter has come under fire for playing into racial stereotypes.

"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," one Twitter users wrote.

Others complained that Snapchat was reducing Marley's influence to a stoner cliche.

In a statement, Snapchat told The Verge that the filter was launched in partnership with the Bob Marley Estate, which has also been released Marley-themed cannabis products such as rolling papers.

"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 said. "Millions of Snapchatters have enjoyed Bob Marley’s music, and we respect his life and achievements."

Learn more about misconceptions surrounding cannabis and the history of marijuana in this ATTN: video.

[h/t Mic]

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