Katy Perry lit up social media after her Geisha-inspired opening act at Sunday night’s American Music Awards with some of the comments suggesting that her White Face performance was racist.
Her stylist, ‘America’s Next Top Model’ creative director Johnny Wujek, tried to explain to detractors that she dressed in traditional Japanese garb because she seriously loves everything about that particular culture.
Wujek said, “Katy and I both love Japan. The people are so kind, there’s so much there visually. Just walking around in Japan, you feel something. We wanted to try and encompass that in the performance somehow, almost a tribute.”
Perry kicked off the 2013 AMA show with a rendition of her single ‘Unconditionally,’ while rocking a modernized version of a traditional Geisha robe. Her stylist reports, “For Katy we took a stunning real kimono and reworked it more into a gown.”
Her dancers were dressed in original Geisha costumes and artistically twirled brilliantly colored parasols as part of their intricate choreography.
Wall Street Journal employee Jeff Yang wrote, “This was a full-barreled technicolor assault on a quarter-millennium-old set of traditions that would’ve given any self-respecting denizen of Kyoto’s Gion District a massive fatal heart attack.”
Ravi Chandra M.D., said in Psychology Today, “If you don’t think Katy Perry was racist — let me ask you, what if she had performed in blackface? Perhaps the costume isn’t the same as changing skin color to you, but it is agonizingly close for me.”
Check out her AMA performance below and let us know — was she being insensitive or just playing dress up?
Photo: Video Screen Grab