Katy Perryhas had better weekends, at least as far as Internet commentary goes.
Then again, if that were a reputable gauge, weekends would frequently suck for celebrities.
Yet since all stars have their rotating moment in the hot seat, it was only a matter of time before Katy’s turn in the batting order was up once again, especially with new music coming out and a huge 2017 still ahead of her.
That she happened to hit a little turbulence while on approach to tonight’s Met Gala, which counts Katy as an honorary co-chair this year, isn’t really a bad thing, either. If she was going to go through a little adversity before an event, it’s best that it was the Met Gala—one attention-getting turn on this red carpet is usually all any celeb needs to recapture her own narrative.
But let us backtrack a few days:
Because rare is the song that gets released without some sort of investigation into how it came about, on Friday Perry’s latest single “Bon Appétit” left a bitter taste in some people’s mouths because the tune features hip-hop trio Migos. Or “homophobic” trio Migos, as some headlines put it.
Though “Bon Appétit” was largely gobbled up by music critics as an infectiously raunchy summer jam, it did not go unnoticed that Migos has a spotty record when it comes to saying things that are, at the least, ill-advised and, at the most, patently offensive.
In an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year, Migos was asked about the positive response to fellow Atlanta rapper iLoveMakonnen having come out as gay. Offset fired back, “That’s because the world is f–ked up,” and Quavo and Takeoff were said to have signaled their agreement.
“We ain’t saying it’s nothing wrong with the gays,” Quavo told the magazine. But “he first came out talking about trapping and selling Molly, doing all that…That’s whack, bro.”
As if the clueless ’90s weren’t alive and well enough in the return of slip dresses and Doc Martens.
But the 21st century soon made its presence known, and Migos tweeted in response to the backlash they received: “We always been about being original and staying true. Staying true to yourself goes a long way. We are all fan’s [sic] of Makonnen’s music and we wish he didn’t feel like he ever had to hide himself.”
Yes, surely Makonnen would agree.
“We feel the world if f–ked up that people feel like they have to hide and we’re asked to comment on someone’s sexuality,” Migos continued. “We have no problem with anyone’s sexual preference. We love all people, gay or straight and we apologize if we offended anyone.”
Obviously influencers in the public eye have to be aware of what they say all the time, that’s how it is, but Migos’ clarification at least comes off as honest and genuinely apologetic. Meanwhile, Makonnen, who at the end of the day is the one whose experience mattered in that exchange, has signaled that he doesn’t have any hard feelings toward the trio.
And yet, fast-forward a few months, and Katy Perry—an emphatic supporter of the LGBTQ community—is getting called out for collaborating with Migos in the studio.
Which, incidentally, she did before the Rolling Stone interview came out.
While Katy would be first to admit to making some sort of wrong decisions, she skipped comment on this particularly uproar, which seemed to fizzle out fairly quickly amid all the food puns. (Besides, she was also quite busy on Friday whipping up cherry pie and dishing out double entendres at a rapid clip.)
?? I’M OPEN 24 ??
Being the savvy star that she is at this point in her storied career, she has obviously figured out when an issue needs dignifying or not. And if this had merited some sort of mea culpa on her part, she would have obliged.
But the fun of being famous didn’t end there. In a live Instagram video from Sunday, Katy mocked a follower who apparently wrote about missing her “old black hair.”
The singer, who went platinum earlier this year, replied in a fake-concerned tone, “Aw, really, do you miss Barack Obama as well? OK, times change, bye.”
Now, that might sound flippant (as opposed to the very, very serious Instagram Live videos all your friends are making), but anyone who has paid any attention whatsoever to Katy Perry over the past year knows that she herself really, really misses Obama, just like anyone who campaigned hard to Hillary Clinton, only to see their hopes dashed.
Saturday night she caught a Broadway performance of Dear Evan Hanson, and she described the experience as what some would call “a healing.” And it’s not much of a leap to guess that she wasn’t thinking merely of insta-backlash for a perceived misstep or the wrong collaboration—she was thinking about the entire state of the world, plague of insta-backlash included.
Yet she was still slammed Sunday on Instagram for being “tasteless” and for daring to compare someone lamenting her different hair color to an equally fruitless lament that Obama isn’t in office anymore.
It was maybe a harsh response to the poor fan who weighed in on her hair, but…
Apparently it was just Katy Perry’s turn to rub people the wrong way, just as every celeb does at some point. Within a few hours, all should be forgiven and forgotten.
The 2017 Met Gala red carpet will begin, and then it will only be Perry’s outfit—the evening is a tribute to Comme des Garçon’s Rei Kawakubo—standing between her and either breathless accolades or a whole new round of scolding.
But either way, at least the headlines will be about something real this time.