What is it about American celebrities, dogs, and Australia that makes for such an explosive combination? First Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were forced to apologize for smuggling their Yorkies into the country back in 2015, and now Australia is pissed at Katy Perry for a dog-related indiscretion, according to the BBC. However, although cultural appropriation is usually Perry’s thing, she isn’t in trouble for dressing her dog up in a culturally insensitive Crocodile Dundee outfit.
No, this time she’s raised the ire of wildlife advocates for joking about giving one of the country’s most beloved mammals the Jimmy John’s treatment. In an ad for department store Myer that doubles as an announcement of her upcoming Australian tour, Perry closes by saying to her her teacup poodle Nugget, “let’s go chase some koalas.” Here’s the ad, which will probably be scrubbed from YouTube shortly:
It’s a pretty mild statement, but it still raised the ire of Australian animal activists, who interpreted it as a call for Perry’s impressionable young fans to roam the bush, collecting koala pelts as tribute to their platinum-haired idol.
Wildlife veterinarian (and, it should be noted, reality-show hopeful) Claire Madden calls the ad ”disgusting,” telling the Courier-Mail that it ”just destroys all the good work we do to try to encourage people not to let their dogs come into contact with koalas.” And dogs attacking koalas is a problem, with Queensland animal authorities telling the BBC that 110 koalas—a significant figure, considering that there are fewer than 100,000, and maybe as few as 43,000, left in the wild—are killed by dogs every year in the state.
But perhaps the most cutting critique came, as always, from YouTube:
Myer now says that it’s removing all references to koalas in its Perry-themed ad campaign. Perry herself has yet to comment, or appear on the red carpet wearing bloody koala paw earrings. One of those things is assumed to occur shortly.