A video showing a makeup artist recreating the face of NBA legend late Kobe Bryant is now doing the rounds on the internet. However, the old video has divided netizens with many criticising it as “blackface” and others finding it respectful.
The widely shared clip was originally posted on TikTok by the makeup artist on her account @easy_baobo, an AS report said. She wrote in the caption, “Kobe is forever in my heart #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #kobebryant24 limitation makeup not imitating people just respect”.
The clip shows her applying layers of makeup on her face and hands. She is also seen recreating Kobe’s hair, beard and eyebrows.
Woman disturbingly recreates Kobe Bryant people are calling it “blackface” pic.twitter.com/OiXGkXX2H6
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) May 23, 2023
However, the makeup artist was accused of being racist. The AS reported that “blackface” was historically used by non-black people in theatres to depict or mock black characters. However, it was overtly done and promoted negative stereotypes.
While many Twitter users called it “blackface”, several others rallied in support of her saying it was an honour to the NBA legend. A user commented, “It literally is blackface, but it wasn’t done to degrade, defame or dehumanize. To me it’s in honor of Kobe Bryant. Context matters.”
they are calling it blackface because it is literally blackface
— Ashley (@AshleyDCan) May 23, 2023
A woman did something that made people angry. She dressed up like Kobe Bryant, but it was not okay because it looked like she was wearing “blackface”.
— Bob Is Here To Explain (@ExplainThisBob) May 23, 2023
Do you think Kobe would be impressed?
— Mars LeRoux (@MarsLeRoux) May 23, 2023
It literally is blackface, but it wasn’t done to degrade, defame or dehumanize. To me it’s in honor of Kobe Bryant. Context matters.
— Thirty Foot Smurf⚾️♋️ (@goodapplejokes) May 23, 2023
— Stevie_Nickels (@stevie_nickels) May 23, 2023
be mad this ain’t black face this was dope recreation of Kobe Bryant
— Aizen Senpai (Vibe Society) (@aizensings) May 23, 2023
I think it’s about the intent. She was creating art and I don’t think she had a racist thought in mind while planning. If she were making a mockery the convo would be different.
— Kayla Rowsey (@Theycrav3kay) May 23, 2023
Another user commented, “they are calling it blackface because it is literally blackface.” A third user commented, “That’s pretty amazing artistry . She’s recreating a look of someone who has a different skin color than her. I don’t see this as being any kind of racism or implying any negative connotation? It’s sad that some view this that way.”
A fourth user commented, “A woman did something that made people angry. She dressed up like Kobe Bryant, but it was not okay because it looked like she was wearing ‘blackface’.”