A beauty brand is receiving backlash after encouraging fans to participate in a makeup challenge inspired by the Kobe Bryant, using the late Lakers legend to kick off its celebration of Black History Month.
According to the Daily Dot, makeup brand the Crayon Case shared a since-deleted Instagram post featuring a suggested color palette for potential looks, which included Lakers colors of purple and gold. "Let's start this challenge with a special tribute to Kobe Bryant," the post read. "One of history's greatest basketball players! We send our love to all family and friends [affected] by this devastation."
People on Twitter quickly began calling the brand out and wrote that they were "disappointed" in the move.
"This is gross and they deleted my comment saying we shouldn't be using this tragedy for Makeup post," one person wrote.
"No shade to them but this just isn't it, [Anastasia Beverly Hills president] norvina was JUST saying how she didn't like being tagged in these tragedy inspired looks," another tweeted. "As a brand they should know better."
"Paying tribute shouldn't result in you gaining anything, same goes for the brand," shared a third user. "They know this is free promo [because] he's (sic) name is trending topic so they will make money bc people will be using their products....."
A fourth tweeted that "this tragedy shouldn't be seen as a challenge or a way to sell products."
I’m sorry but this ain’t it , this tragedy shouldn’t be turned into a “makeup challenge” to get noticed by a brand 🤦🏽♀️🤦🏽♀️ pic.twitter.com/PvJ2Eydj2B— TyraJanea 🦋💕✨ (@tyraajaneaa) February 1, 2020
After receiving criticism, the Crayon Case's founder, Raynell "Supa Cent" Steward, issued a statement that read, "I'd like to clarify our actions by issuing our Black History Challenge."
"We would like to continue to share our deepest condolences to the families impacted by the recent tragedies," the statement continues. "Our team wanted to honor and represent notable figures from our heritage. Due to the recent tragedy of loss, we chose to honor Mr. Kobe Bryant through our craft, cosmetics. This day was inspired by a master of his craft. We used our gifts, to highlight his talent."
"This was only intended to be a kick off to a month of black history. The remaining honorees and references through the month are to highlight moments of historical pride and acknowledgement. This is not connected to any sale or promotion of our products. We will continue to pray for the families and friends of those involved in the tragic event. We love you!"
Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash in California on Jan. 26 along with eight other people including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
Photo Credit: Icon Sports Wire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images