Rihanna and Chris Brown Criticize Snapchat Over Controversial Ad

Company had apologized and removed the ad, which promoted a game called “Would You Rather!” and contained the words “Slap Rihanna” and “Punch Chris Brown"

By Holly Passalaqua, Corinne Heller Mar 15, 2018 6:54 PMTags
Rihanna, 2017 Grammy Awards, ArrivalsJoe Scarnici/Getty Images for FIJI Water

Rihanna took to social media on Thursday to criticize Snapchat for running an ad that appeared to make fun of Chris Brown's 2009 assault of her, saying the social media company let down domestic violence victims and should be ashamed.

Earlier this week, the app ran an ad for a mobile game called "Would You Rather!" It showed photos of the two singers and contained the words "Slap Rihanna" and "Punch Chris Brown." Following a backlash online, Snapchat apologized and pulled the ad, saying in a statement on Monday, "The ad 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."

"Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain't my fav app out there!" Rihanna wrote in a post published on Thursday on Instagram Stories. "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!"

Brown also responded to the ad, through his attorney, Mark Geragos, who told E! News, "Whoever posted this at Snapchat needs to be slapped."

On Thursday, a spokesperson for Snap Inc., maker of Snapchat, told E! News in a statement, "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."

According to the group, the ad was unaffiliated with Snapchat and Snap Inc., which has blocked the advertiser from its platform. In addition, all advertising on Snapchat must conform to the company's advertising policies, which forbid "shocking, sensational, or disrespectful content."

The mobile game manufacturer has not commented publicly. 

Rihanna's Grammy Looks Through the Years

Rihanna said the ad was made to "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," she said. "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."

Snap Inc. says it has a history of working with people to prevent domestic abuse and violence, supporting campaigns such as the National Network to End Domestic Violence and It's On Us, which aims to end sexual assault on college campuses.