To mark the release of her fifth album Witness, Katy Perry hit YouTube with a 24/7 livestream of her life this weekend. The behind-the-scenes look included a live therapy session, an appearance from Late Late Show host James Corden, a Gordon Ramsay cook-off, a conversation with DeRay Mckesson, and much more. During her discussion with Mckesson, which was conducted as part of the activist's Pod Save the People podcast, Perry addressed cultural appropriation controversies and white privilege.
"I've made several mistakes, even in the 'This Is How We Do' video about how I wore my hair," Perry said in a clip from this weekend's livestream that's currently making the rounds. After the "This Is How We Do" video received backlash online, Perry said, she had an enlightening conversation with a close friend.
"She told me about the power in black women's hair and how beautiful it is and the struggle, and I listened and I heard and I didn't know and I won't ever understand some of those things because of who I am," Perry said. "But I can educate myself, and that's what I'm trying to do along the way."
Referencing her "intention to appreciate Japanese culture" at the American Music Awards in 2013, Perry said she didn't know it was "wrong" until other people informed her. "Sometimes that's what it takes," she said. "It takes someone to say, out of compassion, out of love, 'Hey, this is where the origin is, do you understand?' and not just a clapback. It's hard to hear those clapbacks sometimes, and your ego just wants to turn from them."
In a series of tweets Sunday, Mckesson responded to criticism of the interview, noting that the widely shared clip is just a small portion of an hour-long discussion. "If you've listened to #PodSaveThePeople, then you know why it's so named," he said. "I'm not aiming to be anyone's savior, as some have written today."
Look for the full discussion here soon.