The filter asked users to “smile and break the chains” in order to destroy the animated chains.
Now, Snapchat’s parent company, Snap has issued an apology for the filter.
“We deeply apologize to the members of the Snapchat community who found this Lens offensive,” a company spokesperson said in a statement to Variety. “A diverse group of Snap team members were involved in developing the concept, but a version of the Lens that went live for Snapchatters this morning had not been approved through our review process. We are investigating why this mistake occurred so that we can avoid it in the future.”
The filter first appeared on Friday morning. Multimedia designer/developer Ashten Winger, who previously worked at Snap, reacted to the filter, writing, “This is what happens when you don’t have any black people on the product design team. As a Snap alumni, this is extremely embarrassing. It doesn’t have to be this hard—how about an AR experience to inform your 229 million daily active users what Juneteenth is?”
Others reacted similarly, finding it a strange way to honor Juneteenth.
Also known as Freedom Day, Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in America. This day has seen enormous support this year, with many companies designating it as a company holiday. At the beginning of the month, Snapchat announced that it will no longer promote content from Donald Trump's account on the app's Discover media section.