Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
Se Pasó is a daily opinion column where Vivianna tackles entertainment, news, and pop culture with her bold and fearless voice. In other words, she says exactly what you are thinking.
Snapchat is known to release face-altering filters all the time, especially on holidays. As today, 4/20, marks the unofficial "National Weed Day" for Mary Jane lovers across the globe, the popular app thought it would be a great idea to release a Bob Marley filter, but boy oh boy were they wrong — so damn wrong.
The first problem with this unsavory filter is that it reduced Marley to a stoner — it does nothing to celebrate his talent or profile his achievements. Instead, it perpetuates a stereotype and is disrespectful. Though he smoked weed, that's not the only thing people remember this legendary man for. He used his music to spread the message of unity and to fight oppression, but maybe this app forgot about that? Though Snapchat released a statement (more on that later) saying the company respects his achievements, they should have thought about launching something commemorative for Marley on his birthday. I say "something" because this lens brings me to my next point . . .
As distasteful as the first offensive is, the larger issue is that this filter is straight up blackface. Once the app scans your face, you're transformed into the man with his signature cap, dreadlocks, and the dark skin tone. No, I'm not joking, and if you don't believe me then you can try out the racist lens for yourself because it's unfortunately still available on the app. People are outraged and calling out Snapchat on this hot mess and I'm rallying with them.
They're also calling out people who are using the lens, like Kylie Jenner, because it's not okay — it's as simple as that. I don't even know where to begin with her (or anyone) thinking that it would be cute to use it. Racial insensitivity shouldn't be something that we sweep under the rug.
Gizmodo reached out to Snapchat for an explanation and a spokesman for the app released a statement saying, "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.” I'm calling BS on this one.