Katy Perry Pulls Ill-Advised 'Blackface' Shoes

Perhaps Katy Perry hadn’t really thought her new shoe line through?

Updated (Feb. 14th a.m.): Katie Perry has now issued a statement on these shoes via her publicist.

“The Rue and The Ora were part of a collection that was released last summer in 9 different colorways (black, blue, gold, graphite, lead, nude, pink, red, silver) and envisioned as a nod to modern art and surrealism. 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 http://katyperrycollections.com.”

Here’s the original article (published February 12th):

Last week, Gucci released a brand-new black wool balaclava jumper.

The $890 sweater featured a partial face mask closely resembling blackface costumes.

Unveiled during Black History Month, the balaclava jumper quickly caused a massive firestorm against the company.

Several political leaders in Virginia immediately condemned the sweater.  Users on social media lambasted Gucci for releasing a blackface-style design.

Major artists, including T.I. and Soulja Boy, as well as film producer Spike Lee, called on people to boycott Gucci.

On his Instagram, T.I. wrote,

We all gotta stop buying, wearing, and supporting this piece of s—t company and all piece of s—t companies until they learn to respect our dollars & value our business!!!!

The firestorm of criticism quickly led Gucci to pull the item and issue an apology.

Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper.  We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make.

Unfortunately, another major artist just simply hasn’t learned what the controversy was all about.

Just not sensitive enough.

Katy Perry Collections added two very unique pieces of footwear.

The singer had sold two new lines of shoes.  The Ora Face Block Heel and Rue Face Slip-On Loafers, available in black and beige, both feature protruding eyes and thick, red lips.

The shoes appeared to resemble blackface, prompting a massive backlash online.  To avoid controversy, Walmart quickly pulled the items.

Ignoring the underlying cause of the criticism, a spokesperson for Katy Perry Collections merely issued the following statement.

In order to be respectful and sensitive, the team is in the process of pulling the shoes.

On Katy Perry Collections’ online store, the shoes have been replaced with the following message.

This item is not available for internet purchase.”

Katy Perry has previously faced massive criticism over cultural appropriation issues.

Speaking about her cornrows in the music video for ‘This Is How We Do,’ she said,

I’ve made several mistakes.  I won’t ever understand, but I can educate myself and that’s what I’m trying to do along the way.

This time, the singer has remained disturbingly quiet.