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Snapchat has again released a filter that seems to channel racial sterotypes, igniting a backlash from users accusing the company of trafficking in digital yellowface.
The new filter debuted Tuesday, and gives users slit eyes and contorted facial features. Nonetheless, the filter was seen as tone-deaf, given America's history of yellowface, a term usually referring to non-Asian actors playing stereotyped or caricatured versions of Asian people onscreen. Recent examples include last year's Alohawhich cast Emma Stone as a woman of Chinese-Hawaiian-Swedish descent, but the phenomenon also dates back to movies like Breakfast At Tiffany'swherein Mickey Rooney plays Mr.
Yunioshi with "taped eyelids, buck teeth, sibilant accent and all.
Other protests this year have focused on the fact that Asian people and cultures are often caricatured, trivialized or infused with a "white savior trope. Users called it "digital blackface," and argued that it took "a prolific political figure" and "reduced him to a stoner.
Snapchat also faced some criticism after their CEO Evan Spiegel made some allegedly vague and somewhat flippant remarks about their unease to quantify diversity at the company. We think about people and diverse skill sets. More in RacismSnapchat.
Social Good. A new Snapchat filter has many users upset.
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