Katy Perry’s transformation from candy-colored pop singer to socially conscious pop troubadour has been a bit rocky, but despite her groaningly ham-fisted music videos and ongoing feud with Taylor Swift, it does seem like Perry is at least coming from a good place. After all, sometimes a music video needs to be groaningly ham-fisted in order for people to understand it, and sometimes Taylor Swift is simply on the wrong side of a feud. Perry’s latest example of good intentions—if not good execution—came during a weekend-long livestream promoting her new album, Witness, during which she sat down with Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson and made an effort to apologize for some missteps she’s made in her career.
This comes from Uproxx, which says most of the discussion involves Perry’s history of cultural appropriation, particularly a moment in her “This Is How We Do” video that involved her wearing cornrows and eating watermelon. She said she had no idea the imagery was racist until a friend talked to her about “the power in black women’s hair and how beautiful it is and the struggle.” She claims that she didn’t know she “did it wrong” until people stepped up “out of compassion, out of love” to point out her misstep—which she appreciated.
Perry also noted that she has “lots of white privilege,” and she recognizes how much it has helped her career. She wants that to stop, though, saying she doesn’t want to live “in a segregated world,” especially when it comes to music. She then pointed out that she has collaborated with artists like Kanye West and Nicki Minaj, and she wants to continue using her platform to “lift [other artists] up and give them the spotlight.”