An Austrian teen shared a TikTok video of herself with half her face blacked out in an attempt to promote racial unity and express her solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement but it didn't get the response she expected.
The 16-year-old aspiring makeup influencer who goes by catharinas_beauty on TikTok shared a video of her applying dark-colored makeup on one half of her face and neck with the two sides separated by a melting pattern.
The video is set to Childish Gambino's "This is America." The 2018 song, as well as its accompanying music video, received recognition for its acute commentary on Black lives and gun violence in America. It is seeing a resurge in popularity — especially on TikTok — after the police killing of George Floyd and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests.
The video has since been deleted but was reposted on Twitter by a user and has garnered more than 1.1 million views. Watch the video below:
The video, shared by Siraj Hashmi of the Washington Examiner, with the caption "This TikTok just ended racism," has racked up more than a thousand comments criticizing the teenager over the video.
"She probably spent a lot of time planning this content, picking out the makeup and hairstyle, doing the video, editing the video and never stopped for a second to think "hey, maybe this isn't the best idea," wrote one user, while another commented, "People are going so far out of their way not to offend people, that they're offending them even more."
In the wake of the public outrage, the teenager shared a follow-up post apologizing for the video. "I deleted the video & the picture and I hope you can forgive me," she wrote in German. She also took to her Instagram page to claim she did not know what blackface was or why it is offensive.
"I only wanted to send a message against racism, but I did it wrong," she wrote on Instagram. "I'm only 16 and have to learn much more about the world history."
Still, social media users were not convinced by her apology. "Everyone [in] this world who has access to internet, knows about it," wrote one user, while another asked, "You spend 24 hours on the internet and have never heard about blackface?".
The teenager isn't the first person to come under fire for trying to voice support for the African American community in the wake of George Floyd's death. Many other white influencers have been slammed for posting glamour shots bearing the words "I can't breathe."