'Tone deaf': Influencers attacked over posts supporting Black Lives Matter

·4-min read

Influencers have been criticised for their ‘tone deaf’ posts in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, with some deleting their posts, others apologising.

Beauty influencers have removed their posts and apologised since doing make-up looks in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and calling for justice for George Floyd.

From writing “I can’t breathe” to straight up blackface, influencers have found themselves in hot water, prompting other influencers and social media users to call them out.

One of the influencers who has since deleted their post and apologised is Ashley Richter.

Ms Richter painted her face with a black fist, with the words “I can’t breathe”, “Justice 4 George Floyd” and “BLM” (Black Lives Matter).

Ms Richter explained she made the post thinking she was “spreading awareness”.

“However, I was quickly educated on how/why my post was offensive and tone deaf and deleted it immediately,” she told Today.

Another influencer, a 16-year-old from Germany who goes by the Instagram user name @catharinas_beauty. was called out for painting half her face black.

She acknowledged she had done blackface, something many people have been publicly called out for including Jimmy Fallon and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in her Instagram post.

While acknowledging her mistake she claimed she had never heard of blackface.

“I only wanted to send a message against racism, but I did it wrong,” she said.

Whereas model and UNICEF ambassador Amelie Zilber has decided to leave up her TikTok, where she sports similar make-up to Ms Richter, while Macklemore’s Same Love plays.

Many people in the comments of the TikTok have praised her for speaking up.

Within the beauty community, influencers have spoken out against those who are creating make up looks in light of the protests and George Floyd’s death at the hands of the police.

“Raising awareness isn’t using fake blood to appear beaten up,” YouTuber Alissa Ashley tweeted at the end of May.

“It’s not using a darker shade of foundation to show your solidarity. It’s not writing a dying mans last words on your lips.

“Black peoples trauma/reality isn’t a makeup trend. Like y’all can’t possibly be this dumb.”

Instead, she suggested sharing petitions for people to sign or organisations to donate to, something fellow YouTuber Nikkie de Jager, known as NikkieTutorials also suggested.

“Logging in and actually seeing people creating “I can’t breathe” make-up looks... friendly reminder: don’t be that person” Ms de Jager tweeted.

“It’s disrespectful and low, have some respect, sign petitions and DONATE!”

It’s not just beauty influencers using make up as a form of ‘protest’ that have been called out.

Twitter account ‘@Influencersinthewild’ has been calling out those using the Black Lives Matter protests as a photo opportunity.

One video which went particularly viral and received coverage was of Kris Schatzel, a Russian influencer with some 200,000 followers on Instagram, who took to the streets, snapping a photo while protesters peacefully walk by.

“Stop treating the protests like Coachella pt 17,” @influencersinthewildtweeted.

The account has shared multiple instances of white people posing at protests.

“I am not out here trying to ruin people’s lives, just trying to shine a light on the lengths people will go to for social media. Please keep that in mind when you see what I post,” the account tweeted.

“I’m not gonna stop posting because people need to know it’s not okay to do this s**t, but I am going to feel bad about it.”

Just last week a vegan TikToker received backlash for leveraging the Black Lives Matter movement to further her agenda.

“The fight to end oppression for animals is the same fight to end the oppression of black people,” she tweeted.

“But this tweet comes across as really tone-deaf & cruel. You're hijacking this pivotal moment for the #BLM movement to promote your own agenda. It's a bad look,” someone tweeted in response to her.

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