Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Katy Perry's AMA Performance Labeled As Racist

Pop diva Katy Perry is taking some heat for her geisha-style performance at the American Music Awards show on Sunday night (November 24th), with some viewers and critics calling it racist for her to have dressed up in a kimono and traditional geisha hair and makeup, complete with a powdered-white face.

As she sang her song, "Unconditionally," the 29-year-old Perry was also surrounded by similarly-dressed women dancing behind rice-paper screens and coming out from a garden, with plenty of lanterns, fans and cherry blossoms all around.

Among the critics was Dr. Ravi Chandra, who wrote in Psychology Today, "If you don't think Katy Perry was racist -- let me ask you, what if she had performed in blackface? Perhaps a costume isn't the same as changing skin color to you, but it is agonizingly close for me. I remember Mickey Rooney in buckteeth for his role as Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany's; Jonathan Pryce in Yellowface in Miss Saigon; Gwen Stefani in her Harajuku phase. . . . this kind of 'costume' is a way of acting out a power relationship. Whites have historically held power. Therefore Katy Perry has the right to use Japanese culture."

But others defended Perry, and noted that other female singers have dressed as geishas in the past without criticism, including Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Bjork.

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