The last couple of weeks have not been good ones for insensitive fashion designers.
Gucci had to apologize last week for selling a sweater that looked like blackface. And this week, pop icon Katy Perry landed in hot water over a shoe design that some suggested looked like blackface as well:
Katy Perry Collections has pulled from its website two shoe designs that some said resembled blackface.
Dillard’s and Walmart also appear to have removed links to the items — slip-on loafers and block-heel sandals — from their websites Monday.
The loafers were sold in neutral and black, and the high-heeled sandals in gold and black. Both designs featured blue eyes, a gold triangular nose, and bright red lips. Some on social media took exception with the black versions.
A representative for the singer told NBC News on Monday that the shoes were part of a collection that was released last summer in nine different shades (black, blue, gold, graphite, lead, nude, pink, red and silver) and were “envisioned as a nod to modern art and surrealism.”
“I was saddened when it was brought to my attention that it was being compared to painful images reminiscent of blackface,” Perry said. “Our intention was never to inflict any pain.”
Here’s a look at the offending shoes:
Katy Perry’s fashion line pulls shoes after activists accuse design of resembling blackface. https://t.co/HYpr9gVb3E pic.twitter.com/ksxligagno
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) February 12, 2019
If I’d have seen these shoes before the various Virginia blackface scandals, I probably would not have connected that darker shoe to looking like blackface. I see it now, but my gut tells me this was not Perry’s design intent.
But hey, we must BAN ALL THE THINGS and I guess it’s Katy Perry’s turn to pay the outrage mob’s price.
Next up on the chopping block this week is the Bloomingdale’s department store. PIX11 reporter Allison Kaden saw a mannequin wearing a “fake news” t-shirt in one of their stores and had a fit:
Thank you for bringing this to our attention and we apologize for any offense we may have caused. We take this feedback very seriously and are working quickly to remove this t-shirt. Again, thank you for taking the time to alert us.
— Bloomingdale's (@Bloomingdales) February 11, 2019
This isn’t a first amendment issue, but isn’t it fascinating to see a journalist advocate suppressing a message because it offends her?
As you can see from the official store response, a few people raising a stink over what amounts to a big nothingburger caused them to cave.
A spokesman told Fox News the t-shirt was pulled and that “we apologize to anyone who found this t-shirt distressing.”
Distressing? *shakes head*
For what it’s worth, a lot of people took issue with Kaden – judging by the ratio on her tweet as of this writing.
By the way, it’d be fun to find out who makes these t-shirts. Something tells me they’d be a bestseller.
–Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–
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