Katy Perry recently called out a gay, black guy last week. She and the guy had a disagreement and the guy casually said, “Katy, chill out…” which didn’t go over well with Katy. Almost under her breath she mocked his sexuality, race, and gender in one short but sarcastic sentence, “Gay, black male tells woman to ‘chill out.'” Mainstream media was quick to take the story because in today’s society, nothing is worse than belittling someone’s gender, race, or sexual preference. It was trending on Twitter and headlining the nightly news for a few days after the incident. Katy was compelled to issue an apology where she admitted it was wrong and that she’ll be doing some soul-searching in the coming days, as well as meeting with different groups (gay and black people) to find out more about her divisive comment.
How should this make us feel about Katy Perry? Her comment was completely out of left field in the context of the situation so her quick descent to a person’s authentic identity caught everyone off guard. As tense as things are in society (according to the news, at least), comments like hers do nothing to soothe fragile relationships that are already on edge.
Also, Katy’s comment wasn’t about a gay, black man. Dun dun dunnnn! Plot twist. Her comment was to Luke Bryan on American Idol. After he told her to “chill out,” she said, “Straight, white male tells woman to ‘chill out.'”
Now how should we feel?
Her comment blew over like an afternoon breeze, not catching the attention of anyone anywhere, much less a local news channel or a national broadcast. So then, why is it OK for her to use that kind of language but only if it’s towards straight, white men? If she actually had said “gay” or “black” or any other race/gender/sexual preference it would’ve been all over the news. She definitely would’ve had to apologize for the sake of her career and to salvage any ratings American Idol is clinging to. More truth, though, they would’ve just edited her comment out of the show completely so it never would’ve aired. Instead, not only did they keep her “straight, white male” comment in the show, they edited it in a way to draw attention to it, almost as a crescendo of the episode. Take a look…
This lazy comment comes on the heels of Katy drawing attention to herself a few episodes earlier. In that one, she began freaking out when a school shooting victim/survivor auditioned for Idol. I wrote about that awkward scene in this post: Katy Perry and Her Trail of Tears. In a nutshell, the school shooting victim told his story and somehow he went from receiving sympathy to consoling Katy Perry. Weird, huh?
Katy’s comment to Luke was a perfect example of someone who has no ammunition (for lack of a better word) to fight back so they resort to sexual preference, race, or gender. In other words, because Luke is a heterosexual and white, his opinion is inferior. Does that sound unifying?
Katy, only when liberal stars such as yourself stop using race or sexual preference as a way to stay relevant will tensions in our culture begin to “chill out.”
-Out of the Wilderness