“We apologize deeply to the members of the Snapchat community who found this lens offensive,” a Snapchat spokesman told CNN Business. “A different group of Snap members was involved in the development of the idea, but a live version of the lens released for Snapchatters this morning was not approved through the review process.”
The spokesman added that he was investigating why this mistake had been made in order to avoid it in the future.
Mark S. Luckie, vocal diversity supporter and former Facebook director tweeted
for the filter, calling it “interesting” and saying “Smile to break the chains? Okay then.” Other people he called
“tone deaf” on social media.
June 19, the holiday of June 19, marks the end of slavery in the United States. Some companies have given employees leave this year after weeks of nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd.
Snapchat has previously been criticized for other controversial filters, which overlap with digital objects and special effects in photos and videos. In 2016, Snapchat was released a Bob Marley lens
, which added dreadlocks and dark skin color, causing accusations of blackface. ONE different lens
In the same year, strabismus, smiling eyes, and reddened cheeks appeared, which some users called “yellow surface.”
Snapchat parent company Break (BREAK)
, is the rare technology company that does not publish a report on public diversity. In an interview last week, co-founder Snap and CTO Bobby Murphy told CNN Business that the company is working to make it happen. The vast majority of the company’s senior team and board are white.
“We want to be careful not to normalize the numbers across the technology industry, because I think that in some cases with all users posting their numbers, it can feel like accepting the way things are,” he said. Murphy. “These diversity numbers are published internally and we use them as indicators to make progress for ourselves and our team is actually working on a way to publish those numbers and represent the progress we at least hope to make for our company.”