The ad has attracted huge backlash, with Rihanna herself now responding to slam the app for “[spending] money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to domestic violence victims.”
Rihanna responding to Snapchat's ad. I can't believe they did this. pic.twitter.com/TpHQIXTm4j
— Gennette Cordova (@GNCordova) March 15, 2018
Writing in an Instagram story, the ‘ANTI’ star said: “Now, Snapchat, I know you already know you ain’t my favourite app out there! But I’m just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess! I’d love to call it ignorance, but I know you ain’t that dumb!”
Rihanna continued: “You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke out of it! This isn’t about my personal feelings, because 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!”
She concluded: “Shame on you. Throw the whole app-oligy away.”
In an apology, Snapchat said “the advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines. We immediately removed the ad last weekend, once we became aware. We are sorry that this happened.”
They added in a statement released to NME: “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.”
Others to lend their voice to the criticism included US activist Brittany Packnett and Chelsea Clinton.
“I know that social media ads go through an approval process from the platform,” wrote Packnett. “This means Snapchat approved an ad that makes light of domestic violence.
“The update ain’t the only thing that’s wack over there, friends.”
Clinton replied: “Just awful. Awful that anyone thinks this is funny. Awful that anyone thinks this is appropriate. Awful that any company would approve this. Thank you Brittany for calling this out.”