Katy Perry has been in the news a lot lately, due in part to the fact that she dropped her latest album, "Witness," last week. As part of the marketing for it, she's shared a four-day livestream of her day-to-day life that even included an intense therapy session.
With that said, she's been called out for cultural appropriation more than once over the years.
There was her 2013 AMAs performance in which she dressed as a geisha, and her hairstyle in the video for “This Is How We Do,” just to name a couple instances.
As part of the livestrem, Perry joined activist DeRay McKesson to talk about race on his podcast.
She first talked about how a friend took her aside to tell her why wearing her hair in cornrows for the “This Is How We Do” video was offensive.
“She told me about the power of black women’s hair, and how beautiful it is, and the struggle. And I listened, and I heard, and I didn’t know,” Perry told McKesson.
“And I will never understand some of those things because of who I am… but I can educate myself, and that’s what I’m trying to do along the way,” she added.
She also addressed the uproar over that AMA performance, saying it was intended as a celebration of Japanese culture.
“Even in my intention to appreciate Japanese culture, I did it wrong with a performance,” Perry said. “And I didn’t know that I did it wrong until I heard people saying I did it wrong.”
And people were saying it was wrong. One reviewer said the performance represented a “flat, inaccurate, sexualized identity that has nothing to do with Asian cultures. She pandered to a white audience by all but literally skinning Asian women.”
But now it's 2017, and Perry said that while she may "never understand" the struggles of other cultures, she'll continue to educate herself.
She also added that people “clapping back” about it doesn’t promote an environment in which we can kindly learn from each other.
“Sometimes it takes someone to say, out of compassion, out of love: ‘Hey, this is where the origin is.’ And not just a clapback,” she said. “Because it’s hard to hear those clapbacks sometimes. Your ego just wants to turn from them.”