Letters from a civil rights advocacy organization spurred the changes at Pinterest and The Knot Worldwide.
Image: Tim Graham / Getty Images
Two popular wedding planning resources, Pinterest and The Knot Worldwide, have both announced plans to no longer promote wedding content and venues that glamorize former slave plantations, according to reporting from Buzzfeed News.
Pinterest and The Knot’s decision follows pressure from Color of Change, a California-based civil rights advocacy group, that called for the platforms to stop promoting plantations completely.
Buzzfeed News explains that Color for Change wrote a letter to executives at the Knot Worldwide, as well as Pinterest, urging them to change their current practices. According to the Washington Post, Color of Change also sent letters to other wedding planning sources, including Martha Stewart Weddings, Zola, and Brides.
Buzzfeed News first reported the news of Pinterest and The Knot’s proposed changes early Wednesday.
The Knot Worldwide, which owns the Knot and WeddingWire, is working with Color of Change to design new content guidelines for vendors on its platform, which will be enacted shortly. The company says that in addition to changing its vendor guidelines, it will also prohibit any vendors from using language that “romanticizes or glorifies a history that includes slavery.” It will also remove any vendors that do not comply with its new guidelines.
“Color of Change brought an issue to light about the way venues with a history of slavery describe their properties to couples,” The Knot Worldwide said in a statement. “Our goal is to ensure that the content of all of our vendors on our sites is respectful and considerate to everyone.”
Meanwhile, Pinterest has already started making changes, according to a statement sent to Mashable. It will limit the distribution of plantation wedding content and accounts on its site, including in autocomplete features, search recommendations and email updates. Additionally, Pinterest will not accept ads from venues offering plantation weddings, nor will it allow ads to appear in search results for “plantation weddings” or other related searches.
While those on Pinterest will still be able to search for plantation wedding content, the platform will now show an advisory warning.
A screenshot taken of a Pinterest search for “plantation wedding.”
Image: Pinterest / Mashable
“The wedding industry, in the past couple of decades, has made millions of dollars in profit by promoting plantations as romantic places to marry,” Jade Magnus Ogunnaike, senior campaign director at Color of Change, told an ABC News podcast. “Plantations were spaces where black people were harmed, raped, beaten and forced to work. They’re not romantic places to get married.”
Arisha Hatch, the vice president of Color of Change, told Buzzfeed News that the organization focused on wedding-planning platforms, not plantations, because the platforms don’t directly make money from these weddings, and thus might be more receptive to changing practices. Hatch told Buzzfeed that even though the campaign won’t totally end the practice, it might change some of the public’s perceptions of these weddings.
“We’re doing this because everyone deserves to feel welcome and inspired when planning their wedding on Pinterest,” Pinterest told Mashable in a statement.