Pop star Camila Cabello took to Twitter Saturday to defend one of her backup dancers, who had come under fire from a cancel mob for allegedly wearing “brownface” during a TV performance.
The singer explained that the goal for her performance on The Tonight Show was to “try to make each person look like an over the top 80’s character,” and that the backup dancer in question was playing “a white dude with a terrible orange spray tan.”
“Hey! So this dude was supposed to be a white man with a terrible spray tan,” Cabello wrote on social media.
“We purposefully tried to pull together a multicultural group of performers, the expectation was not that everyone in the performance needed to be Latin,” she said. “There are white people, African American people, Latin people, etc. and so the point 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 80’s character just like in the video, including a white dude with a terrible orange spray tan,” she added.
— camila (@Camila_Cabello) July 24, 2021
“like y’all clearly didn’t achieve the vibe you wanted, and it never should have been attempted. I don’t personally love your ‘explanation,’ but regardless of your intentions, people ARE offended by what you did. You need to apologize and do better,” reacted one Twitter user.
“instead of trying to find an excuse for that man, you should at least apologize to the community you have offended. disappointed,” tweeted another, who did not specify which community has taken offense to a man wearing an orange spray tan.
“girl from the moment that someone feels ofended[sic] with this, you should apologize. maybe it wasnt your intention but you have to study more about it because it’s problematic with a minoral[sic] group who felt ridiculed about this situation. i’m your fan but im dissapointed[sic] with you,” another wrote.
“yeah no ma’am that’s just not a concept to be used at all, you guys did that terribly. and he doesn’t just look like a dude with terrible spray tan, the spray doesn’t even look orange,” another Twitter user lamented.
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.
— Bruna de Lara (@delarabru) July 25, 2021
Cabello’s backup dancer is not the only individual to fall under scrutiny for sporting a tan.
Last summer, actress Alyssa Milano responded to accusations of blackface by insisting that she was actually doing “tanface” for a 2013 parody of Jersey Shore star Snooki.
Last year, beloved YouTube star Jenna Marbles announced she was quitting her channel — after being on the platform for a decade during which she garnered over 20 million subscribers and over 3 billion views — in part, over accusations that she had worn blackface in a previous video in which she appeared to simply have a tan.