Snapchat Criticized for Introducing a Bob Marley Filter – Some call it Racist

In what has been characterized as the “digital equivalent of blackface,” social media app Snapchat issued a Bob Marley filter. The filter allows users to merge their faces with the likeness of the reggae icon Bob Marley. The filter, which includes dreadlocks and a rasta hat, launched on 4/20, the day celebrating marijuana culture. Critics question the way Marley’s legacy is being used, with a writer for Daily Vox in South Africa, Aaisha Dadi Patel, calling it “a form of blackface, cultural appropriation, and totally problematic.” Patel went on to say it was a “caricature of a black person.” A representative of Snapchat defended the filter and said that it had been created in partnership with the Marley estate as a way to honor the singer’s life and achievements. Previously, the Marley family launched a product line comprising four types of Cannabis branded as “Marley Natural.” This branded product line was developed with private equity funding by a firm that negotiated a licensing arrangement with the Marleys.