The latest designs from singer Katy Perry's new shoe line have been pulled from stores after outcry over one of them looking like blackface.
The new slip-on loafers are made to look like faces, with big red plastic lip pieces, a nose and eyes. There is a pink one called "Rue Face Slip On Loafers," and a high-heeled variant called "Ora Face Block Heel Sandal." The shoes were available in black, gold or beige and cost $129, reports USA Today.
Sources close to Perry told TMZ they were just shoe designs and she did not intend to make them look offensive. However, "In order to be respectful and sensitive the team is in the process of pulling the shoes," the reps said.
TMZ later added Walmart and Dillard's pulled the shoes from their sites. The black shoe is still listed on Lord & Taylor, but is out of stock.
Twitter users were quick to point out how the black shoe looked similar to blackface.
"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," one Twitter user wrote.
Regarding Katy Perry’s shoes; if you have to second guess whether a design is blackface/racist...it probably is. “Reaching” or not, information is too readily accessible for this to occur. #DoBetter— Tia (@TiaHasTime) February 11, 2019
"Regarding Katy Perry's shoes; if you have to second guess whether a design is blackface/racist...it probably is. 'Reaching' or not, information is too readily accessible for this to occur. #DoBetter," another wrote.
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 + FACEFebruary 11, 2019
This was just the latest example of the fashion industry sparking outrage with a design that looked like blackface. Last week, Gucci came under fire for selling a $890 balaclava jumper that had a red-lined cutout for customers' mouths that would make it look like the customer was wearing blackface. Gucci pulled the sweater and issued an apology on Twitter.
So @gucci puts out a sweater that looks like blackface......February 7, 2019
On Black History Month....
And then issues an apology because they didn't know that blackface images are racist.
"Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper. We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores," the fashion label said. "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."
Blackface is the racist practice of a white person darkening their face to appear black, and was widespread in the 19th Century. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has been called to resign after a page from his 1984 yearbook included a photo of a man in blackface and another man wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood resurfaced. Northam has apologized, but refused to step down and said the man in the photo was not him. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring apologized for wearing blackface at a costume party in 1980.
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