Singer Katy Perry apologized and removed her shoe collection from both Walmart’s and Dillards’ websites amid backlash that it resembled “blackface.” Perry famously stumped for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
Perry issued this statement on Tuesday: “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.”
Katy Perry: It’s ‘Modern Art’
Perry and her brand management group, Global Brands Group, said they meant no offense with her shoe collection, which was released in 9 different colors “as a nod to modern art and surrealism.”
Sources told TMZ that Katy Perry and her team decided to pull the shoes “in order to be respectful and sensitive” to public outcry.
The shoes, which retailed for $129, featured two blue eyes, a triangular gold nose, and red lips. The black shoes were the ones that set off the racism firestorm.
Prada Pulled Blackface Store Display
A similar fashion controversy erupted in December 2018, when Italian fashion house Prada was forced to pull a store display promoting a new line of accessories amid complaints over its use of “blackface imagery” that many called “extremely racist.”
Prada’s store in the trendy Manhattan neighborhood of SoHo quickly pulled its display after a black lawyer took aim at it in an angry Facebook post that immediately went viral.
The blackface imagery has always been controversial, but it has taken on special significance recently after reports surfaced that Virginia’s Democrat governor Ralph Northam may have worn blackface in a 1985 medical school yearbook. Northam denied that the man in the yearbook photo was him, and refuses to resign.
Not surprisingly, Katy Perry was widely slammed over her “blackface” shoes on social media.
— Daniel 🌷💫 (@daniellovesyooh) February 10, 2019
Now Katy Perry got blackface shoes 🙄 all these different designs out here I have no other choice than to believe they doing this stuff on purpose
— piggy (@danae_33) February 11, 2019
However, others on Twitter said the whole situation is much ado about nothing.
“If you are being traumatized by shoes you need to be in a mental institution,” one person tweeted. “Who cares about these shoes? They’re ugly.”
Another quipped: “If you see racism or blackface on these shoes let me tell you that you need mental help. Stop complaining about everything, damn it!!. Grow up!!”
If you see racism or blackface on these shoes let me tell you that you need mental help.
And I’m completely sure that people would complain if the shoes didn’t have a black version!!.
Stop complaining about everything, damn it!!.
Grow up!! 🤦🏻♂️#ThisIsWhatIThink #KatyPerry pic.twitter.com/2iOxjyIJkE
— 🦥🦥🦥 (@MadMajima) February 11, 2019
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