Katy Perry has responded after her shoe collection was removed from stores, amid claims that they featured a blackface design.
The line of sandal and loafers were pulled from stores including Walmart after critics argued against the depiction of a face featuring large red lips.
In a statement released to Entertainment Tonight, Perry said she was “saddened” by the backlash.
The singer said: ‘The Rue and The Ora were part of a collection that was released last summer in nine different colourways (black, blue, gold, graphite, lead, nude, pink, red, silver) and envisioned as a nod to modern art and surrealism.
She added: ‘I was saddened when it was brought to my attention that it was being compared to painful images reminiscent of blackface. Our intention was never to inflict any pain. We have immediately removed them.”
— 1010 WINS (@1010WINS) February 11, 2019
The design was originally released in August 2018, although it was only picked up by singer Masika Kalysha earlier this month.
A spokesperson for the Katy Perry Collection previously told TMZ: “In order to be respectful and sensitive the team is in the process of pulling the shoes.”
The shoes are the latest item to face criticism for allegedly featuring the racist caricature of a red-lipped “Sambo”.
It comes only a week after Gucci withdrew a black polo necked jumper featuring red lips that were designed to be worn over the face.
In 2017, Perry also apologised after she was accused of cultural appropriation – having previously worn Japanese style Geisha outfits.
“I didn’t know that I did it wrong until I heard people saying that I did it wrong. It takes someone to say, out of compassion, out of love, ‘Hey, this is what the origin is’,” said Perry.
“And not just a clap back. Because it’s hard to hear those clap backs sometimes, your ego just wants to turn from them.”
The singer also recently discussed how she feels distant from God, after starting her career as a Christian gospel singer.