Influencer lashed over protest ‘photo shoot’
Another influencer has been lashed after being accused of using a Black Lives Matter protest for a "photo shoot" - but she insists it's all a misunderstanding.
Footage of Russian-born Kris Schatzel went viral over the weekend after Twitter account Influencers In The Wild posted video of her posing at a Los Angeles protest.
Protests have been happening across the United States in response to the killing of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis man who died in police custody.
The video showed Ms Schatzel dressed in a sheer black dress stepping into the middle of a group of protesters to pose with a Black Lives Matter sign for photos.
Stop treating the protests like Coachella pt 17 pic.twitter.com/zOzf4ZvvWf— influencersinthewild (@influencersitw) June 5, 2020
The reaction to the video was swift, with the post captioned: "Stop treating the protests like Coachella pt 17."
The card says BLACK LIVES MATTER. The action tells me INSTA LIKES MATTER MORE.— Dimuthu Jayawardana (@dimuthuj7) June 5, 2020
This is disgusting— Selina (@Sleeee_33) June 5, 2020
can we please cancel influencers? the money companies give to them for posts can be dispersed for the cause at hand. 🤦🏻♀️— brigitte tran (@brigittesosweet) June 5, 2020
People forgetting that the protests are not about them... Gross— Wyatt (@Wyattkins) June 5, 2020
Ms Schatzel responded to the controversy by sharing a photo from the protest and a lengthy apology, in which she admitted the backlash she had received was "overwhelming".
She also said that she had the "biggest empathy" for George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.
"I can also understand that I may have not chosen the best avenue to spread the message by doing a photo-shoot after the peaceful protest and I take full responsibility for that," Ms Schatzel wrote.
However, the influencer slammed those who had taken her to task about posing for the photos as Ms Schatzel argued she had only been trying to spread awareness.
"I truly believe this level on (sic) intolerance and hateful comments are detrimental to the movement and what we are all trying to achieve for black and brown communities," Ms Schatzel wrote.
"I hope we can all focus on the true cause as to why we are all here.
But Ms Schatzel's response only seemed to spark more backlash, with people questioning whether she had actually taken part in the march or just posed for pictures.
"You put more effort in your outfit than your sign, that alone shows what your priorities were during the protest," one comment said.
"Your 'apology' just shows that you DO NOT understand what is going on," another person wrote.
"You can easily show support for BLM on social media. Dressing up, walking into a protest just to take a photo is absolutely disrespectful and makes a mockery of people who are genuinely there for change."
In response to the criticism Ms Schatzel doubled down, saying that she would "never bend the knee for this criticism".
She isn't the only influencer to be lashed online for her response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Last week vegan activist Lauren Rebecca Perez used a TikTok video to urge people to "connect the dots" and think of animals the same way as the Black Lives Matter movement, infuriating protesters.
"Veganism, Black Lives Matter movement is all the same fight, all of it and it's important each one of them is so individually important," she said.
"I really hope that people can start to connect the two."
Originally published as Influencer lashed over protest 'photo shoot'