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Katy Perry's Shoe Design Lands in Blackface Controversy, Is Pulled From Shelves

Shoppers complained that two shoe styles from Katy Perry's eponymous collection resembled blackface, and the singer has decided to remove them from shelves in order to be respectful and sensitive.

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Updated:February 12, 2019, 12:37 PM IST
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Katy Perry's Shoe Design Lands in Blackface Controversy, Is Pulled From Shelves
Shoppers complained that two shoe styles from Katy Perry's eponymous collection resembled blackface, and the singer has decided to remove them from shelves in order to be respectful and sensitive.
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Katy Perry is reportedly removing two shoe styles from her eponymous footwear collection from shelves following blackface concerns. According to a TMZ report, the singer would be removing the Ora Face Block Heel and the Rue Face Slip On Loafers from retailers like Dillards and Walmart after shoppers complained of their resemblance to blackface.

A source said that Perry never intended the shoes to be offensive or racist, but decided to pull the shoes "in order to be respectful and sensitive."

Perry has previously been accused of appropriating culture. In 2017 she apologized for her decision to wear cornrows in her This Is How We Do music video, as well as for her costume choice for the 2013 American Music Awards, where she dressed as a geisha.

"I didn’t know that I did it wrong until I heard people saying that I did it wrong," she said. "It takes someone to say, out of compassion, out of love, ‘Hey, this is what the origin is’.”

The shoe comparison comes days after the fashion world's latest blackface scandal, when Gucci came under fire for selling a sweater with large red lips that also resembled the derogatory blackface makeup. The fashion brand has since issued an apology for the mask and stopped selling the product.

Prada, too, faced accusations of racism after a shopper noticed the "Pradamalia" trinket in a store window display in New York bore a strong likeness to blackface. The Italian fashion house also issued an apology and pledged to diversify its staff in an effort to be more conscious of its product's appearance.

Fashion is not the only place where blackface concern have been raised. Earlier this month, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam admitted to dressing up in blackface after photos from his college yearbook of two men — one dressed in blackface, the other dressed in a Ku Klux Klan robe — surfaced. He first apologized for the image, then denied being in it at all, before admitting that he had dressed in blackface for a Michael Jackson costume.


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