Katy Perry is the latest celebrity to be accused of cultural appropriation. The singer shared an image of the Hindu goddess Kali Ra on Instagram Wednesday with the caption "current mood." Commenters were quick to point out the potential offensiveness of the post.
"It's not right to use god as a meme you can't just post god and use it as 'current mood'. As you're basically trying to say oh look I'm so like god. Which is very rude and disrespectful," one such commenter notes in a lengthy post. Another begged Perry, "Please delete this. This is not current mood you don't know the real truth behind this pictures respect every religion!!!!"
For every irate commenter, though, there is a fan defending Perry. One wrote cheerfully, "Katy babe you're the best! Ignore the haters!"
The bulk of the criticism seems to be aimed at the fact that Perry effectively memed a Hindu god. By taking the image and applying the term "current mood" — a common meme across social media platforms — Perry took what for some is a holy image and made it into a "current mood" meme.
This is far from the first time Perry has been accused of cultural appropriation. The singer donned a Geisha costume at the 2013 American Music Awards. This was widely seen as both an instance of appropriation and of yellow face. Similarly, in a video for her song "Dark Horse," Perry dressed as an ancient Egyptian.
Perry has previously addressed the subject in the press. "I guess I'll just stick to baseball and hot dogs, and that's it," Perry said in an interview with Rolling Stone. "I know that's a quote that's gonna come to fuck me in the ass, but can't you appreciate a culture? I guess, like, everybody has to stay in their lane? I don't know."
In another instance, Perry performed alongside backup dancers dressed as mummies with large backsides and exaggerated red lipstick — many thought the dancers were costumed as stereotypes of Black women. Regarding that performance, Perry said, "As far as the mummy thing, I based it on plastic surgery. Look at someone like Kim Kardashian or Ice-T's wife, Coco. Those girls aren't African-American. But it's actually a representation of our culture wanting to be plastic, and that's why there's bandages and it's mummies. I thought that would really correlate well together… It came from an honest place. If there was any inkling of anything bad, then it wouldn't be there, because I'm very sensitive to people."
Perry has yet to respond to commenters requesting she remove the post.