Shoes from Katy Perry's fashion line pulled from retailers over accusations of 'blackface'
Singer Katy Perry has allegedly been forced to pull a particular style of shoe from her latest fashion range after critics accused the design of promoting 'blackface'. Perry's "Rue Face Slip-On Loafers" and "Ora Face Block Heel Sandal" (which cost the hefty price of $129 per pair at Dillard's and Walmart) have been discontinued from certain stores.
Although the shoes come in black and beige, the mouth and eyes have been accused of resembling the black face paint and racial caricatures used in minstrel shows. An inside source working on the line allegedly told TMZ that the shoes "Were never intended to be offensive ... In order to be respectful and sensitive, the team is in the process of pulling the shoes."
On social media, the reaction to the shoes has been one of outrage and condemnation. For instance, one Twitter user wrote: "@katyperry are you actually serious right now?! blackface on a SHOE?? what is WRONG with you?"
Another added: "@katyperry so this what we doing now?!?! Blackface shoes to go with @gucci blackface sweater?!?!"
A third person tweeted: "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."
Katy Perry has previously provoked disqueit among certain civil rights activists, after being accused by critics of cultural appropriation. However, she apologised for any unintended offence caused, and in an interview with DeRay McKesson stated: "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.”
This isn't the first example of so-called blackface clothing to provoke scandal recently. Earlier this month, Gucci was forced to publicly apologise after receiving online backlash over an offensive polo neck jumper. The black balaclava sweater, from their 2018 Fall Winter collection, caused an uproar on social media.
In a contrite official statement addressing the issue, they said: "Gucci deeply apologizes for the offence caused by the wool balaclava jumper. We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores. We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make. We are fully committed to increasing diversity throughout our organization and turning this incident into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team and beyond."