‘Weddings should be a symbol of love and unity. Plantations represent none of those things…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Pinterest and Knot Worldwide, two of the biggest online wedding-planning platforms, announced that they will no longer “glorify” wedding venues that take place on former slave plantations.
Knot Worldwide’s chief marketing officer, Dhanusha Sivajee, told Buzzfeed News that the company will revise its policy and issue new guidelines to make sure certain venues aren’t romanticized.
The purpose of the change is to make sure the company isn’t describing history that includes slavery as “elegant” or “charming,” Sivajee said.
“We want to make sure we’re serving all our couples and that they don’t feel in any way discriminated against,” she said.
Instead of marketing themselves as plantations, Sivajee said wedding vendors should label their venues differently.
“You can imagine there could be former plantations that maybe have changed their names to manors or farms,” she continued.
Pinterest, too, said it will restrict content that features former slave plantations. A spokesperson said the platform is even working to de-index Google searches for plantation weddings so the content isn’t easily accessible.
That content will still appear on the website, the spokesperson said, but it will also include an advisory that it may violate Pinterest’s policies.
“Weddings should be a symbol of love and unity. Plantations represent none of those things,” the Pinterest spokesperson told Buzzfeed. “We are working to limit the distribution of this content and accounts across our platform, and continue to not accept advertisements for them.”
The decision is the result of significant push-back from several liberal activist groups. One such group, Color of Change, emailed The Knot and Pinterest multiple times, asking them to remove plantation related weddings from their sites.
“The decision to glorify plantations as nostalgic sites of celebration is not an empowering one for the Black women and justice-minded people who use your site,” the group wrote in the emails, according to Buzzfeed.
“Plantations are physical reminders of one of the most horrific human rights abuses the world has ever seen,” it continued. “The wedding industry routinely denies the violent conditions Black people faced under chattel slavery by promoting plantations as romantic places to marry.”