Rihanna posted an Instagram Story today to denounce Snapchat after the platform showed an offensive ad featuring the artist to users. The ad was for a smartphone game called Would You Rather that appeared inside Snapchat on Monday asking users if they would rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown.
Many users caught the thinly veiled reference to the infamous 2009 incident when Chris Brown violently assaulted his then-girlfriend Rihanna. Brown choked, bit, and punched Rihanna and threatened to kill her, landing her in the hospital.
Many on social media have called out Snapchat for making an advertisement out of a terrible incident. Chelsea Clinton said it’s “awful that any company would approve this.”
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
Snapchat apologized and pulled the ad on Tuesday, saying in a statement to the BBC, “The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines.” Rihanna declined to accept the platform’s apology for mistakenly placing the ad after a vetting process, saying, “I’d love to call it ignorance, but I know you ain’t that dumb!”
We’ve reached out to Snapchat for a full explanation of what happened.
Rihanna makes it clear in her statement that she’s more concerned about other domestic violence victims being made fun of by the ad than by her own personal feelings being hurt. Her full statement reads:
“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! 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. Throw the whole app-oligy away.”
Kylie Jenner declared Snapchat to be dead back in February, and the company’s stock tanked by several percentage points after her words. Rihanna’s condemnation today is another blow to the service; so far, the stock has tumbled nearly 5 percent following her Instagram Story.