‘Saddened’ Katy Perry Speaks out on Blackface Shoes Controversy

February 12, 2019, 11:54 PM UTC

Katy Perry has responded to the online uproar over the musician’s controversial clothing-line decisions.

The 34-year-old singer and fashion designer pulled two Perry-branded shoes from online stores Monday, following complaints that their designs resembled blackface makeup.The offending designs—a slip-on loafer called the Rue Face, and a sandal called the Ora Face, both featuring human faces on all-black backgrounds—were yanked from the clothing line’s official website, and later disappeared from the online stores of multiple retailers, including Walmart and Dillards.

The shoes had been derided on social media, with singer Masika Kalysha reportedly posting a photo of the shoes on Instagram over the weekend, asking, “We just gonna let Katy Perry slide?” Other critics spoke out against the designs on Twitter.

On Tuesday, Perry released a statement to Entertainment Tonight, saying the shoes, initially released last summer, were “envisioned as a nod to modern art and surrealism.” She added: “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.”

Perry noted the shoes had been removed from her official website.