Culture

Katy Perry removes ‘blackface’ shoes from websites


Katy Perry and her fashion line, Katy Perry Collections, have confirmed that shoe designs that were criticized for resembling blackface were immediately removed from retailers’ websites, TMZ reported Tuesday.

“I was saddened when it was brought to my attention that it was being compared to painful images reminiscent of blackface,” Perry and Global Brands Group, her brand manager in launching Katy Perry Collections, said in a joint statement, according to TMZ.

Perry and Global Brands Group said the shoes — the Rue Face Slip On Loafers and the Ora Face Block Heel Sandal — were released in nine different colors and “envisioned as a nod to modern art and surrealism.”

The leather on the “face” of the loafers and heeled sandals was embellished with identical 3-D eyes, a gold triangle “nose” and bright-red lips. The shoes that come in black were the ones that were problematic, in that some thought they resembled classic blackface makeup, according to TMZ. According to the brand’s About Us page, the collection is “designed 100 percent” by Perry.

.@KatyPerry is pulling shoe styles resembling blackface from Dillard’s and Walmart. Sources tell @TMZ that the high heels and loafers “were never intended to be offensive,” adding that “in order to be respectful and sensitive the team is in the process of pulling the shoes.” pic.twitter.com/JguQGpwvMi

— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) February 11, 2019

Last week, Gucci sparked outcry for selling a black $890 turtleneck sweater that could be worn with the collar pulled up over the bottom of one’s face. A photo of a model wearing the sweater showed her mouth peaking out of a hole, and ringed by what appear to be large red lips.

The Gucci wool balaclava jumper that sparked outrage with many calling it a “blackface” sweater. (Twitter) (Screengrab via Twitter)

Images of the sweater shared on social media brought immediate immediate backlash. The luxury Italian design house was accused of marketing a “racist sweater” and “Haute Couture Blackface.” Gucci issued an apology and confirmed that the turtleneck had been “immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores.”

The controversy over the Gucci sweater and Perry’s shoes comes as U.S. society is confronting its difficult history with blackface, a racist American entertainment pastime dating back to early 19th century minstrel shows. Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, “The View” co-host Joy Behar and others have come under fire over the past week after decades-old photos of them emerged showing them dressed up in blackface.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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