Snapchat’s Bob Marley Filter Is Not A Good Way To Celebrate 4/20

Today is 4/20 and to celebrate this dubious national “holiday,” Snapchat released a filter that will make you, unsuspecting and well-intentioned user, look like Bob Marley.  If you’re a white person reading this, you should feel uncomfortable because using this filter effectively puts you, well-intentioned white person, in blackface. Is that what you asked for? Is that something you wanted?

If you’ve never used Snapchat before or live under a rock, the filters are generally a fun and cool way to give yourself dog ears, a Coachella flower crown or to swap your face with that of your sister or an unsuspecting person standing next to you on the 2 train. Filters aren’t new, but a filter that makes the user look like a black person certainly is!

Despite Snapchat’s reputation as being run by douche-y fratties, they’ve managed to avoid offending anyone with their filters, until now. But, in a statement from Snapchat, the filter was created with the blessing of Bob Marley’s family and foundation.

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.

Sure. All right! Fine. But, for the “millions of Snapchatters” that enjoy Bob Marley’s music, I’m willing to bet that at least 75% of them aren’t interested in celebrating his legacy by seeing what they look like as a Jamaican man with dreadlocks. Marley’s legacy is about way more than just passing the dutchie on the left hand side. Here’s some more information on Marley’s music and his beliefs, both of which should not be reduced to “LOL 4/20 smoke weed every day.”