Snapchat released a filter which was meant to be ‘anime-inspired’ but instead has been accused of ‘yellowface’ and continuing racist Asian caricature.
The filter squashes user’s face adds squinting eyes, raised eyebrows, large teeth and blushing cheeks. “This anime-inspired lens has already expired, and won’t be put back into circulation,” Snapchat said in response to the backlash. Lenses are meant to be playful and never to offend.”
This isn’t the first time the social platform has been accused of racist image filters- on the worldwide weed holiday 4/20, Snapchat was criticised of digital blackface with Bob Marley filter which included dreadlocks, a Rastafarian hat, beard and darker skin.
In an email to Fortune, Snapchat defended the Marley filter by 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.”
— Maggie Roque (@mhroque) August 9, 2016
— Tasting with Tansu (@TansuPhilip) August 9, 2016
— k #STUCK (@engravedhearts) August 9, 2016
This quite the racist snapchat filter in my opinion pic.twitter.com/r9AfqhgZyc
— felix (@LiamMGallivan) August 9, 2016
— grace (@tequilafunrise) August 9, 2016
— Brian (@bkisnah) August 9, 2016