The new Snapchat offensive filter caused a social media uproar, users accusing the app of gross racial indifference. The new function was already removed from the social media app.
On Tuesday a new filter was unveiled by Snapchat, a social media app that specializes in image editing. However, the feature was short-lived as it was already removed due to the backlash it received from users worldwide.
Snapchat’s new (and already former) filter gave users wider facial features. The result that the company was aiming for was to offer to those who wanted to, a chance to transform themselves into anime characters.
After taking a selfie and applying the filter, the resulted picture was similar to an anime drawing. The eyes of the person were modified to look like a single line that occupied half the face of the individual, the eyebrows were short and pointed upwards, the cheeks were protuberant, the nose was small, and the lips were heart-shaped.
Snapchat released a public statement that said:
“This anime-inspired lens has already expired, and won’t be put back into circulation. Lenses are meant to be playful and never to offend.”
Some users referred to the lens as being yellowface, which is an extremely racist and offensive practice. Yellowface is a term that usually refers to actors that are of a non-Asian descent who are cast in Asian roles.
A recent example of yellowface is Emma Stone’s character in the movie Aloha. The white actress was chosen to depict a Swedish-Hawaiian-Chinese character.
Another, more popular example. Is Mr. I.Y. Yunioshi from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Mickey Rooney had buck teeth, taped eyelids, and a sibilant accent while portraying the Asian character in the classical movie.
This year, Matt Damon received considerable backlash for his latest movie, The Great Wall, because the actor’s character was the embodiment of the white savior trope. Damon and the movie’s producers were accused of white washing.
It seems that some Snapchat lenses are doomed to attract negative reactions from users. This April, the company released a special Bob Marley feature in honor of 4/20. That, too, was considered a highly racist gesture, and the filter was removed shortly after.
What do you think about the uproar caused by the new Snapchat offensive filter? Do you think it was racist?
Image source: Flickr