Katy Perry is trying a new tactic to spur sales: a seemingly endless, emotional apology tour, where she spills her heartfelt thoughts on everything from her feud with Taylor Swift (she’s sorry) to her past embrace of her own white privilege and the trappings of other cultures.
Perry’s newly released, “socially conscious” album, Witness, is struggling to find its way to the Billboard top 10. And her two most recent singles, “Bon Appetit” and “Swish Swish,” peaked well below her previous hits on the pop charts. So she participated in a weekend-long live-stream to promote the effort, where she tried to force herself into the news cycle as often as possible.
In addition to cooking with Gordon Ramsay, getting a naked massage, and broadcasting her own live therapy session, Perry sat down with Black Lives Matter activist and puffy vest aficionado DeRay Mckeeson for what can only be described as an awkward confession. Perry “comes clean” for all her sins against social justice.
Katy Perry acknowledging her mistakes regarding cultural appropriation, this is extremely respectable of her pic.twitter.com/RkvIhEnXxX
— ㅤ (@touchnick) June 11, 2017
In her interview, Perry acknowledged that she unintentionally borrowed from black culture on her previous albums, and acknowledged that she has benefited from her own whiteness.
She thanked activists like Mckeeson for pointing out her many faults “out of compassion, out of love”—they’ve helped her to become the worldly, woke troubadour that she’s always dreamed of being. Thanks to them, she’s Bob Dylan now, basically. Nobel Peace Prize forthcoming.
Perry also tried to focus on solutions. She said that in order to overcome the white privilege that has driven the success of her career, she’s working with minority artists like Kanye West and Nicki Minaj, and helping to “lift [other artists] up and give them the spotlight.”
Katy’s airing of grievances, though, didn’t sit well with everyone. After all, her apology for cultural appropriation focused on a 2014 video, where she wore dreadlocks, and not on her more recent transgressions, like her weird appearance on SNL and her odd faux-Hindu awakening.
As for her white privilege, well, Kanye and Nicki are both well-established artists in their own right, so its strange for Katy to take credit for their success. And her most emotional line is actually pretty standard: “I have lots of white privilege and I know I’ll never understand some things because I am white.” Not exactly the rousing speech of the newly woke.
Twitter users seem to think the whole interview was simply a cynical ploy for attention.
Perry’s apology tour is expected to extend into the week—or however long it takes to get her songs back into regular rotation.