During an Instagram Live session on Saturday, April 29, the “Bon Appétit” singer read a series of fan questions aloud. “Oh, someone says, ‘I miss your old black hair,'” she said before sarcastically replying, “Oh, really? Do you miss Barack Obama as well? Oh, OK. Times change. Bye! See you guys later.”
Perry then started laughing and turned around to look at her friends, seemingly searching for their approval. “I should leave now,” she said, still giggling. An off-camera pal could be heard replying, “OK, you’re cut off,” as Perry ended the livestream.
— DJ SCREAM (@DJSCREAM) April 30, 2017
Critics immediately took to Twitter to criticize the pop star — who was a vocal advocate for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton throughout the 2016 presidential campaign — for her remarks. “Wow Katy Perry. The reference to former Pres. Obama was offensive & a poor, tasteless attempt at humor. Your privilege is showing,” one user tweeted.
Another critic wrote, “Sometimes when I think that the world is an awful place, I remember that Barack Obama has more Grammys than Katy Perry, and I feel better.” (Obama has two Grammys for his audiobooks Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope; Perry has been nominated for 13 Grammys, but hasn’t won.)
Perry previously came under fire in February when she made an insensitive joke about Britney Spears‘ mental health and infamous head-shaving incident. During a red carpet interview at the 2017 Grammys, Perry was asked about her brief hiatus from music. “It’s called taking care of your mental health,” she replied. “I haven’t shaved my head yet.”
The “Teenage Dream” singer has yet to publicly address her controversial Obama joke. See more Twitter reactions below.