Wedding planning giants Pinterest and the Knot Worldwide will stop promoting wedding venues and content that romanticize former slave plantations, the companies said on Wednesday. The move comes after an advocacy group asked the companies and others to stop promoting former slave plantations as wedding venues altogether, and after an increasing number of conversations about the appropriateness of hosting weddings in places with a history of slavery.
"Weddings should be a symbol of love and unity. Plantations represent none of those things," a Pinterest spokesperson told CNET in an email. "We are working to limit the distribution of this content and accounts across our platform, and continue to not accept advertisements for them."
Pinterest plans to restrict plantation wedding content, and de-index Google searches for plantation weddings on the site, the spokesperson said. Users will still be able to search for these weddings, but they'll see an advisory that some of the content may violate Pinterest's policies.
The Knot Worldwide, which owns popular wedding planning websites the Knot and WeddingWire, is creating new guidelines that will "prohibit any vendors on The Knot or WeddingWire from using language that romanticizes or glorifies a history that includes slavery," a spokesperson for the Knot Worldwide told CNET in an email. "We will remove any vendors from our sites that do not comply."
In the US, the wedding industry made $76 billion in 2019, according to research from IBIS World. The money that goes to venues makes up a significant portion of that revenue, Buzzfeed News reported. Buzzfeed reported the news about Pinterest and the Knot Worldwide earlier Wednesday.
Wedding planning site Zola followed suit Thursday, removing all listings of former slave plantations from its venue suggestions. Zola is also looking into existing content like wedding photoshoots on its site that involves these properties, a spokesperson told Buzzfeed News.
"We re-evaluated all our venues listed on Zola and determined we will not allow vendors to list who are plantations," a Zola spokesperson told CNET in an emailed statement. "We recognize that this is a painful issue and have been evaluating on an ongoing basis. We appreciate Color of Change for bringing this issue forward, and will work with them and additional organizations to ensure our policies and guidelines are inclusive and make everyone feel welcome."
Originally published Dec. 4.
Updates, Dec. 4: Recasts story after confirmation from Pinterest and the Knot Worldwide; Dec. 5: Adds detail about Zola.