Katy Perry has apologized for her ignorance after facing various allegations of cultural appropriation over the years.
The Fireworks singer addressed the controversy during her Witness World Wide live-streaming event over the weekend, when she allowed fans to watch her eat, sleep, exercise, and socialize while holed up in a Los Angeles home to promote Friday’s release of her new album, Witness.
During the unconventional stunt, Katy was joined by a series of special guests, including Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson who interviewed her for his Pod Save The People podcast and quizzed her over her use of looks and fashions from different cultures during the course of her career.
“I’ve made several mistakes,” she shared. “Even in the This is How I Do video (in 2014) about how I wore my hair (in cornrows), and having a hard conversation with one of my empowered angels, Cleo (Wade, poet and race equality activist), about… why can’t I wear my hair that way or what is the history behind wearing the hair that way.”
She continued, “And she (Cleo) told me about the power in black women’s hair and how beautiful it is and a struggle, and I listened and I heard and I didn’t know. I won’t ever understand some of those things because of who I am. I will never understand, but I can educate myself and that’s what I’m trying to do along the way.”
Katy also addressed being criticized for wearing a Japanese geisha outfit at the American Music Awards in November, 2013, which she insists was well-intentioned.
“Even in my intention to appreciate Japanese culture, I did it wrong with a performance, and I didn’t know I did it wrong until I heard people saying I did it wrong,” she explained. “And sometimes it takes someone saying out of compassion, out of love, ‘This is where the origin is, do you understand?'”
Katy insists her missteps haven’t always been met with compassion though, and sometimes the “clapbacks” have upset her.
“It’s hard to hear those clapbacks sometimes and your ego wants to turn from them,” she added, “and I’ve been so grateful to have great teachers and great friends who will hold me accountable.”
– Cover Media0