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A beauty blogger has issued a public apology after donning blackface in “support” of Black Lives Matter.
On Sunday, Filipino blogger Ken Francisco de Dios shared photos of himself wearing a wig with noticeably darkened skin and makeup to Facebook and Twitter with the caption, “Black Lives Matter.”
The now-deleted posts received immediate backlash from social media users who criticized de Dios for showing his “support” while invoking blackface, which is rife with hurtful, demeaning and racist connotations towards the Black community.
“Please don’t address the Black Lives Matter [movement] in this way,” one woman tweeted. “I don’t think he is concerned with it, he is concerned with himself.”
“Yeah, this is NOT what we mean by showing solidarity or walking a mile in our shoes,” another wrote.
The “disgusting” and “tone deaf” photos were justified by de Dios in a now deleted apology to Facebook. According to The Sun, de Dios said that his images were meant to be artistic, and not racist.
“Before everything gets out of hand I would like to apologize for the whole 'blackface' issue. It wasn’t of my intention to imitate anyone of any culture or race,” the outlet reports. “As an artist, I used my artistry to be part of the campaign and use it as a voice that black lives matter. I believe that this is a sensitive topic and that I should’ve kept my mouth shut. I will try to learn more about such matters to keep myself from making 'careless mistakes' in the future”
De Dios reportedly told followers that he was working on educating himself as to why his actions and photos were met with such outrage.
"Cultural appropriation is an issue that is deeply rooted in a society that I am still educating myself on,” he wrote. “I’ve read your comments and tweets and I honestly do understand where this backlash has come from. I am thankful for those who are educating me in the comments section.”