Katy Perry is facing a mounting backlash over her role as ambassador of the British Asian Trust.
Prince Charles appointed the singer as ambassador earlier this week. Many critics say Perry has a history of cultural appropriation and should not be in the position. Prince Charles announced the news at the charity’s annual Royal Dinner. Perry’s official Twitter account later confirmed the news.
According to the singer, she will be working with the trust’s Children’s Protection Fund. The fund is dedicated to combating child-trafficking in Southeast Asia.
The appointment also comes just a few months after Prince Andrew’s close ties to Jeffery Epstein were revealed. Epstein is a noted sex-trafficker who died in U.S. custody.
Katy Perry is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and has been since 2013. She tweeted that she’s excited to work with the British Trust Fund and that she has a “magnetic connection” to India. But an online backlash to the announcement quickly grew on social media.
Fans quickly congratulated her on the news, but many others were stunned. “I can’t believe the fact that Katy Perry, a white American, has been chosen to be the British Asian Trust ambassador,” one person tweeted. Others pointed out several Asian celebrities who may have been better fits for the role.
“I love Katy but seriously? She’s not British, nor is she Asian. There are so many British Asian celebrities who should be in her place. Dev Patel, Jameela Jamil, Anjali Mohindra, and Riz Ahmed, to name a few,” another user wrote.
Many critics drew comparisons to her American Music Awards geisha-inspired performance in 2013. Perry wore a kimono during that performance and sang her song, “Unconditionally.” The performance was widely panned for perpetuating stereotypes about Asian women.
Perry has since apologized for that incident and others. “I’ve made several mistakes,” the singer said during a 2017 live stream. “I won’t ever understand some of the things because of who I am. I will never understand, but I can educate myself, and that’s what I’m trying to do along the way,” she said.