Katy Perry Removes Shoes From Collection After Being Accused Of Resembling Blackface
Katy Perry made headlines for her stellar tribute to Dolly Parton at Sunday’s Grammy Awards, but now she’s back in the news for the worse. On Tuesday, Perry released a statement with Global Brands, the management company who works with her on her fashion line Katy Perry Collections, to apologize for a shoe design that some had found offensive.
The shoes, called the Slip-On Rue Loafer and the Ora Sandal, featured blue eyes, a triangle nose, and large red lips against a black leather background. Outcry surrounding the shoe has likened the design to the blackface of 19th century minstrel shows. The critique comes in the midst of public debate concerning Virginia governor Ralph Northam‘s history with blackface. Perry and Global Brands responded by immediately removing the design from the collection and issuing an apology.
The shoes “were part of a collection that was released last summer in nine different colorways (black, blue, gold, graphite, lead, nude, pink, red, silver) and envisioned as a nod to modern art and surrealism,” the statement read. “I was saddened when it was brought to my attention that it was being compared to painful images reminiscent of blackface. Our intention was never to inflict any pain. We have immediately removed them from Katy Perry Collections”
This isn’t the first time Perry has come under hot water for insensitivity and cultural appropriation. In 2013, she performed dressed as a Geisha during the American Music Awards, and in 2014, she drew criticism for performing with mummied backup dancers who were said to “commodify stereotyped black female sexuality.” She was also called out for wearing cornrows in her music video for her 2014 single “This Is How We Do.”
Perry has previously admitted that she has “made several mistakes” on a 2017 podcast with DeRay McKesson and has been working to be more sensitive. Her immediate response to the shoe controversy was praised by many.
Meanwhile, Perry posted a cryptic tweet hinting at new music earlier this morning. Responding to Zedd, Perry’s emoji tweet has fans thinking that a collaboration between the two artists is coming soon – and boy is Twitter excited. All in all, Perry seems to have made it through this controversy relatively unscathed.
— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) February 13, 2019