A major part of internet culture is sharing pop-culture references as forms of reaction as opposed to a comment, now sharing these images may be racist.
Many online have been labeled as racist for sharing the imagery of Oprah Winfrey from her recent interview with Meghan Markle, in an act that has been labeled Digital Blackface.
From The Daily Mail:
‘Performing Blackness, be it IRL or online, is not an acceptable form of expressing reaction or dissatisfaction, especially not in exchange for likes and retweets,’ the organization wrote in its post.
The Slow Factory Foundation went on to insist that people shouldn’t be sharing the recent onslaught of Oprah memes just because they’re popular, suggesting that they are reminiscent of white people wearing blackface in minstrel shows.
‘Since the #MeghanandHarry interview on Oprah, we’ve been seeing a lot of digital blackface infractions with a few of Oprah’s reaction gifs and images going viral, but that doesn’t mean you should be using them,’ the non-profit explained.
This new movement to call out Digital Blackface has been met with ridicule from a broad portion of internet users. The term first cropped up online after an article from Teen Vouge was published in 2017. While the movement has its supporters it is often meant with sharp criticism from even self-identified liberals, this recent usage of the term and condemnation of those sharing images of Oprah Winfrey has proved no different.