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Snapchat Apologizes for Ad Asking Users If They’d Rather ‘Slap Rihanna’ or ‘Punch Chris Brown’

Snapchat issued an apology after facing backlash over a controversial advertisement involving Rihanna and Chris Brown.

Snapchat Apologies Over Offensive Rihanna and Chris Brown Ad
Chris Brown and Rihanna attend the 55th Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Kevin Mazur/

The ad asked users if they would rather “slap Rihanna” or “punch Chris Brown.” Although it is unclear how long the message was on the app, a spokesperson for Snapchat addressed fans’ concerns in a statement to Us Weekly on Wednesday, March 14.

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“The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines,” the statement read. “We immediately removed the ad last weekend, once we became aware. We are sorry that this happened.”

Snapchat pulled the ad from the platform after users took to Twitter to condemn its message.

Chelsea Clinton also voiced her concerns. “Just awful. Awful that anyone thinks this is funny,” the 38-year-old author tweeted. “Awful that anyone thinks this is appropriate. Awful that any company would approve this.”

Brown, 28, made headlines in February 2009 after he turned himself in for physically assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna, 30, following Clive Davis’ Grammy party in Los Angeles. The “With You” crooner pleaded guilty to the crime and accepted a plea deal including nearly five years of probation and one year of domestic violence counseling. Although the duo briefly refueled their romance in 2012, they officially parted ways one year later.

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The “Crawl” singer upset Rihanna devotees last month when he wished her well on her birthday in an unexpected Instagram tribute. However, a source exclusively told Us at the time that the exes are on good terms.

“Fans might have been surprised that Chris wished Rihanna a happy birthday so very publicly on social media,” the insider said. “However, they are good friends and talk all the time.”

The “Close to You” singer opened up about her tumultuous relationship with Brown while speaking to Vanity Fair in November 2015. “I was very protective of him. I felt that people didn’t understand him. But, you know, you realize after a while in that situation, you’re the enemy,” she explained. “You want the best for them, but if you remind them of their failures, or if you remind them of bad moments in their life, or even if you say I’m willing to put up with something, they think less of you — because they know you don’t deserve what they’re going to give.”

Related: Rihanna & Chris: Through the Years

Brown also spoke out about his ex in his June 2017 documentary, Welcome to My Life. “My trust was totally lost with her, she hated me after that,” he recalled. “I tried everything, she didn’t care. She just didn’t trust me after that. From there, it just went downhill because there were too many verbal fights, physical fights as well. Mutual sides. It is the first time I get to say anything. We would fight each other. She would hit me, I would hit her and it was never OK.”


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