Snapchat recently released a polling ad that asked its users whether they would rather punch singer Chris Brown or slap his ex-girlfriend Rihanna.
Outrage quickly ensued and users on Twitter demanded Snapchat take the ad down.
Is it just me, or is this ad that popped up on my Snapchat extremely tone deaf? Like what were they thinking with this? pic.twitter.com/7kP9RHcgNG
— Royce Mann (@TheRoyceMann) March 12, 2018
People were primarily upset by the ad because it explicitly referenced Rihanna and Brown’s 2009 relationship marked by a very public history of domestic violence. Brown served five months of probation after revelations of the abuse surfaced.
Rihanna herself hopped on Instagram on Thursday to complain about the ad.
“Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain’t my fav app out there! But I’m just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess!” she wrote on her public story. “I’d love to call it ignorance, but I know you ain’t that dumb! You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it. 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.”
She then urged her followers to “throw the whole app-oligy away.”
Snapchat is done. Shoutout to Rihanna. pic.twitter.com/i00w0PvyJ7
— Stephen Dacres (@SRDtv) March 15, 2018
Rihanna’s strong words must have made their way all the way to Snap HQ because they issued a statement shortly thereafter.
“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,” a Snapchat spokesperson told the Hollywood Reporter.
The ad has since been taken down but this probably won’t be the last controversy the app endures.
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