Today, Katy Perry becomes the latest high-profile person to come under scrutiny related to the use of black face, but in this case for designing a shoe that resembles the racist gesture.
According to TMZ, in the latest incident, Katy Perry’s shoe is about to be yanked from retailers like Dillard’s and Walmart for what is being described as design features that closely resemble blackface. The shoes are called the “Rue Face Slip On Loafers” and another style that has a heel is called “Ora Face Block Heel Sandal.”
The “face” shoes have two eyes, a nose and red lips on them, and they come in two different colors — black and beige. The problem is the black one is troublesome considering the long, racist history of blackface makeup.
Singer Masika Kalysha broached the topic on social media, calling for Katy to explain herself. “So we just gonna let Katy Perry slide?” the singer asked, according to TMZ.
Perry’s sources say the shoes were part of a line of shoes that she designed and were never intended to be offensive. However, TMZ reported once Katy became aware of the uproar, she made the decision to remove the shoes. “In order to be respectful and sensitive the team is in the process of pulling the shoes.”
Katy Perry 'Blackface' Shoe to Be Pulled from Shelves
Ok, can we just make this a rule that ANY product, service or person that is NOT Black will NOT create, promote or apply any combination of BLACK + FACE
— Kim Crayton 🏢 💻🎙#causeascene (@KimCrayton1) February 11, 2019
The news comes as Virginia’s governor and an attorney general in Virginia have become embattled over pictures of them emerging donning blackface as young men; a lieutenant governor and gubernatorial hopeful in Mississippi allegedly donning black face around the same timeframe; and high-end retailers like Gucci being accused of releasing a blackface turtleneck sweater that pulls up over your mouth with cut-out, oversized red lips.