Pinterest and The Knot will change how they promote plantation weddings

Cornelia Mascio
Dicembre 8, 2019

Pinterest and The Knot Worldwide are reportedly changing their policies to stop promoting wedding venues and content that romanticizes former slave plantations.

Jade Magnus Ogunnaike, Color of Change senior campaign director, tells PEOPLE that the conversation surrounding plantation weddings has been a "cyclical" one, but that the organization saw an opening in the fall as more and more people began discussing the issues with it on social media.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for The Knot Worldwide tells PEOPLE that the company is now developing content guidelines with Color of Change that will ban vendors from using "any language that romanticizes or glorifies a history that includes slavery". "The wedding industry routinely denies the violent conditions Black people faced under chattel slavery by promoting plantations as romantic places to marry".

"Weddings should be a symbol of love and unity. We're now working with Color of Change to create additions to our current content guidelines that will ensure all couples feel welcomed and respected on our sites", according to a statement The Knot released to NBC News.

Pinterest said it will limit the visibility of "plantation weddings" content by changing its site's search and autocomplete system. "Plantations represent none of those things", the statement read. Similarly, Brides has removed references on its site glorifying plantations, according to a statement from its parent company, Dotdash.

Color of Change also reached out to Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides magazine, and Zola, but the organization said so far Pinterest and The Knot are the only two that have responded.

On Thursday, however, Zola said it had "re-evaluated all our venues listed on Zola and determined we will not allow vendors to list who are plantations".

"This is really sensitive and painful issue and we want to be doing the right thing by our couples, our employees and anyone who has any interaction with Zola in any way", Ma said.

Martha Stewart Weddings told Fox News on Thursday morning that it was reviewing its policy in light of Color of Change's request, though it had not yet introduced any definite changes to its policy.

"We are very happy about how receptive the companies they have been".

These attitudes that celebrate the Antebellum era come in the wake of tourists complaining that plantation tours, which allow visitors to view plantations for historical purposes, focus too much on slavery or don't portray white people nicely enough.

Some former southern plantations have become popular wedding venues over the years but a backlash has been growing.

The wedding of actors Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively would be censored from the platform under the new rules.

An official with Belle Hall did not return an email seeking comment.

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