She’s clearing the air! Camila Cabello has responded after she was accused of using “blackface” on one of her backup dancers during a recent performance. That’s right, for those who missed it, the singer made an appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon on Friday, July 23, where she sang her brand new song, “Don’t Go Yet.” But some people were quick to notice that one of people on stage with her had abnormally dark skin. The dancer, who is named Dylan Pearce, actually has a much lighter complexion in real life, and fans started to wonder if Cabello had him use dark makeup to make him appear like a different race.
What Did Camila Cabello Say About It?
According to the star, however, he was supposed to represent a “white man with a terrible spray tan.” She took to Twitter to address the rumors after she began to receive backlash online.
“We purposefully tried to pull together a multi-cultural group of performers,” she explained. “The expectation was not that everyone in the performance needed to be Latin. There are white people, African American people, Latin people, etc. and so the paint wasn’t to try to make everyone look Latin either. There are a lot of people in the performance who are not. The point was to try to make each person look like an over the top 80s character just like in the video, including a white dude with a terrible orange spray tan.”
How Did Fans Take The Apology?
Some people, however, were still not satisfied with her response.
“This is not an apology, it wasn’t OK and offended a lot of people! There was no need for it. I’m really disappointed and you should’ve known better,” one fan responded. Another added, “I loved you so much, but I am SO disappointed. This is by far the lamest excuse for racism that I have ever seen in my entire life. You didn’t even try to apologize here. I am so so so disappointed with you, seriously.”
Other Twitter users pointed out that even the dancer felt he was being portrayed as an African American man, since he used a black woman emoji in his Instagram Stories.
“No matter the original intention, the guy’s posts are telling another story – I mean, he literally compared himself to a black woman emoji. That is very clearly offensive. This is not OK, apologizing is the very least you could do,” a third user said.
Has Camila Cabello Been Accused Of This Before?
Back in 2019, the “Havana” songstress came under fire for old, resurfaced Tumblr posts of hers that made their way around the web and contained the N-word. According to Buzzfeed, she reblogged racist and xenophobic posts in 2012 and 2013 that mocked Black, Asian and Mexican people, and contained offensive language. At the time, she apologized and later revealed that she was attending “weekly racial healing sessions.”
“When I was younger I used language that I’m deeply ashamed of and will regret forever. I was uneducated and ignorant and once I became aware of the history and the weight and the true meaning behind this horrible and hurtful language, I was deeply embarrassed I ever used it. I apologized then, and I apologize now,” she wrote. “I would never intentionally hurt anyone and I regret it from the bottom of my heart. As much as I wish I could, I can’t go back in time and change things I said in the past. But once you know better, you do better, and that’s all I can do.”
The 24-year-old continued, “I’ve grown and learned and am conscious and aware of the history and the pain it carries in a way I wasn’t before. Those mistakes don’t represent the person I am or a person I’ve ever been. I only stand and have ever stood for love and inclusivity, and my heart has never, even then, had any ounce of hate or divisiveness. The truth is I was embarrassingly ignorant and unaware.”
A few months later, she told People Magazine that she attended the sessions so that she could educate herself. She explained, “It created a space where I was held accountable. You get corrected, you have homework, and you learn. That’s how you move forward. Now I know better so I can do better.”
Cabello also said it inspired her to want to help “people who are on the frontlines of dismantling systems that create oppression” and think of ways to “bridge that with my own personal journey with mental health and healing.” She then created the Healing Justice Project with the Movement Voter Fund, which donated $250,000 to various groups advocating for racial justice and equity, including QLatinx and Black Leaders Organizing Communities.
“What all the organizations have in common is that they are helping their communities, especially marginalized groups in their communities,” she added. “They all also expressed a need for these mental wellness resources.”