Snapchat Issues Apology After Missing the Mark with Juneteenth Filter

Snapchat apologizes after releasing Juneteenth filter set against the backdrop of a Pan-African flag that asked users to smile in order to break the chains 

LaToya Blakely

AfterBuzz TV Host & Writer
Posted On: June 20th, 2020 5:38 pm pst

Maria Menounos
Keven Undergaro
AfterBuzz TV Founders

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.

Snapchat, a popular social media platform, released a Juneteenth filter set against the backdrop of a Pan-African flag that asked users to smile, which then prompted chains to appear and then break. Feedback regarding the filter was immediate and grossly negative.  

(Credit: Poketnow)

The Snapchat Juneteenth filter has since been removed and Snapchat has issued an apology. In a statement given to CNBC, a Snap spokesperson said, “We deeply apologize to the members of the Snapchat community who found this Lens offensive. A diverse group of Snap team members were involved in developing the concept, but a version of the Lens that went live for Snapchatters this morning had not been approved through our review process. We are investigating why this mistake occurred so that we can avoid it in the future.” 

What exact “diverse group” the Snap spokesperson was referring to is unclear. Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has refused to release diversity numbers, but has said that the company’s diversity numbers are in line with those of other Silicon Valley tech companies, which skew heavily towards white and male. The company and Spiegel have been outspoken about their support for the Black Lives Matter Movement, but former Snapchat employees recently told Mashable that they experienced a racist culture while working at the company.                            

(Credit: Business Insider – Evan Spiegel (left) and Bobby Murphy (right))

In the recent weeks, there has been a call for diversity within organizations, specifically at management and executive levels. Perhaps with actual, diverse leadership, Snapchat could have avoided this offensive and insensitive “mistake”. 

Snapchat was created in 2011 by Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy. By January 2014, the company had offers of acquisition, including a $3 billion offer from Mark Zukerberg. In May 2015, the company moved from its original headquarters to a 47,000 square foot office complex near Venice Beach and signed a 10-year lease. In early March 2017, the company went public under trading symbol SNAP and raised almost $30 billion on the first day of trading. Both Spiegel and Murphy have a net worth over $4 billion.

About The Author:

LaToya Blakely is an attorney, actress and host dedicated to making a difference and serving the underserved. “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. You can follow her on Instagram @latoya.blakely and Twitter @BlakelyLaToya.

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence

“We don’t just celebrate and cover the top shows, content and stars, we celebrate and cover ALL the shows, content and stars.”

Maria Menounos

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