A Filippino influencer has been forced to apologise after intense backlash to a "blackface" makeup look while he attempted to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Ken Francisco de Dios uploaded a series of since-deleted photos to social media wearing a wig, rainbow top and dark makeup.

The influencer captioned the post “Black Lives Matter”, alongside a black love heart emoji. It came about after George Floyd was killed by a police officer last week and protests erupted across the world in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Screenshots of the influencer's photos were posted on Twitter in outrage:

The backlash was swift, with many calling out the ‘offensive’ makeup look:

Taking to Facebook, de Dios addressed the backlash and apologised for the “careless mistake”:

Before everything gets out of hand I would like to apologize for the whole 'blackface' issue. It wasn’t of my intention to imitate anyone of any culture or race.

As an artist, I used my artistry to be part of the campaign and use it as a voice that black lives matter. I believe that this is a sensitive topic and that I should’ve kept my mouth shut. I will try to learn more about such matters to keep myself from making "careless mistakes" in the future.

Cultural appropriation is an issue that is deeply rooted in a society that I am still educating myself on. I’ve read your comments and tweets and I honestly do understand where this backlash has come from. I am thankful for those who are educating me in the comments section.

It appears de Dios has since deleted his Instagram and Twitter accounts, but screenshots of the blackface look appear to have spread on Twitter and Reddit.

But while criticism of the influencer’s blackface look might be fair, people also used the moment to be homophobic about the influencer in drag, which is completely unacceptable.

One tweet (with more than 14,000 likes) wrote “when will these f words learn?” while another tweeted “THIS IS WHY I'M HOMOPHOBIC”.


During Pride month? Not on our watch.

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