Kris Schatzel, a Russian-born influencer, defended herself after she was slammed for using a Black Lives Matter protest as a backdrop for her photo shoot. She maintained that it was all a misunderstanding.
The influencer went viral after a video of the shoot was posted on the Influencers In The Wild Twitter page.
Schatzel showed up to a Los Angeles protest dressed in a sheer black dress. The video shows her posing in the middle of a group of protestors, holding a Black Lives Matter sign.
She was quickly slammed, with the caption of the post reading: "Stop treating the protests like Coachella pt 17."
Schatzel responded to the criticism by captioning a photo from the protest with a lengthy apology, stating that the criticisms she received were "overwhelming".
She added that she felt the "biggest empathy" for George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.
She wrote: "I can also understand that I may have not chosen the best avenue to spread the message by doing a photo-shoot after the peaceful protest and I take full responsibility for that.”
However, she also added: "I truly believe this level on (sic) intolerance and hateful comments are detrimental to the movement and what we are all trying to achieve for black and brown communities. I hope we can all focus on the true cause as to why we are all here.”
Her statements drew more backlash, with many asking whether she actually participated in the protests or just had a photo shoot.
"You put more effort in your outfit than your sign, that alone shows what your priorities were during the protest," one person wrote.
"Your 'apology' just shows that you DO NOT understand what is going on," another one commented.
"You can easily show support for BLM on social media. Dressing up, walking into a protest just to take a photo is absolutely disrespectful and makes a mockery of people who are genuinely there for change," another post read.
Schatzel did not take the added criticism well, and stated that she would "never bend the knee for this criticism."
Schatzel isn't the only influencer who has been slammed online for her actions during the Black Lives Matter Movement protests.
Last week, vegan activist Lauren Rebecca Perez stated in a TikTok video that the Black Lives Matter Movement was the same fight as veganism.
"Veganism, Black Lives Matter movement is all the same fight, all of it and it's important each one of them is so individually important. I really hope that people can start to connect the two," she said.