Right at the zenith of #MeToo and Time’s Up, Snapchat “unwittingly” permits a tasteless ad on their app referencing an instant in pop culture that has long ago become stale. Semtex posits that it’s indicative of a larger underlying need of the men in charge to fuck shit up as much as possible before being summarily ejected from positions of authority.
After Snapchat already lost some support when Kylie Jenner declared at the end of February, “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad,” a recent faux pas in judgment–to say the least–with Rihanna has only served to augment a loss of cachet for the fledgling app. For not only did Snapchat allow a totally irrelevant pop culture reference to be made on its advertising watch, but it also insulted and laughed in the face of all those women who have been victims of domestic violence.
The advertisement in question was brought to the attention of the company circa March 12th, when several tweets calling out the offensiveness made the rounds on the internet. Subsequently, Snapchat issued the statement, “This advertisement is disgusting and never should have appeared on our service. We are so sorry we made the terrible mistake of allowing it through our review process. We are investigating how that happened so that we can make sure it never happens again.” Ah the dance that corporations do–expressing regret only if and when they get called out for their blatantly tone deaf–often misogynistic–behavior. And, for once, the subject toward which their mea culpa was directed did not see fit to rotely accept it for the sake of appearing “Christ-like.”
That’s right, Rihanna may not have found time to make new music of late in between dating a Saudi billionaire and working diligently on her Fenty line, but she did manage to quip quite effortlessly in her response to Snapchat’s apology, “This isn’t about my personal feelings, cause I don’t have much of them…but all the women, children and men that have been victims of DV in the past and especially the ones who haven’t made it out yet…you let us down! Shame on you. Throw the whole app-oligy away.”
Chris Brown-another little asshole who has yet to receive a proper public flogging
And, in truth, the Barbadian apparition is right: how could something like this still be sanctioned at a moment that comes in the throes of the #MeToo movement? When businesses and the men who run them should be especially sensitive to insensitive marketing. And, as mentioned before, the worst thing about it is that it’s not even pertinent to what’s happening in Rihanna’s life at this juncture, nor was the ad clever enough to make it worth referencing the not so distant past of 2009 in this manner. Because, yes, much to the chagrin of those that control what we consume, it’s not generally “a cinch” to make light of a woman getting the shit smacked out of her on the regular. Then again, considering the strange-in-its-retroness conservative white male tyranny that has clung so forcefully to governing the earth of late, this “snafu” from Snapchat is only logical.
What’s more, the “game,” called Impossible Choices: Would You Rather?, seems to think that answering this question would be difficult for anyone who happened upon it in their Snapchat safari, when the clear answer is: punch Chris Brown–another little asshole who has yet to receive a proper public flogging (though he’s lower on the list for that than, say, R. Kelly). That the game managed to eke by Snapchat’s approval guidelines does not seem to be worthy of being called, as Rihanna put it in her Instagram blast, “ignorance.” Taking into account what amounts to an anal probing when it comes to the chain of command major companies enlist to ensure lack of causing offense to the masses, it seems unlikely that someone on the inside wasn’t aware that this query wasn’t going to mesh well with the declaration, “All ads are subject to our review and approval. We reserve the right to reject or remove any ad in our sole discretion for any reason. We also reserve the right to request modifications to any ad, and to require factual substantiation for any claim made in an ad.” Where factual substantiation is concerned, no one who bears witness to this content can deny that it falls under the “shocking, sensational, or disrespectful content” that Snapchat theoretically speaks of in its banned content spiel.
Then again, if the timeline of events that has occurred since an orange mutant took office in the U.S., the one thing that we should all have learned by now is that the people who operate from a position of power appear only to have gotten there by actively defying and ignoring the feelings and rights of others.