Katy Perry's flawless performance at 2013 American Music Awards on November 25 sparked a controversy about racism. The 29-year-old singer, who belted out her single "Unconditionally" while dressing up as a geisha and being surrounded by kimono-clad dancers on a Japanese garden-styled stage, was accused of being culturally insensitive.
However, Perry's stylist Johnny Wujek has defended the star's decision to do the Japanese-inspired performance. "Katy and I both love Japan," Wujek, who is also a creative director of "America's Next Top Model", told E! News.
"The people are so kind, there's so much there visually. Just walking around [in Japan], you feel something. We wanted to try and encompass that in the performance somehow, almost a tribute," he continued.
There were also people who took issue with Perry's dress, which appeared to be a mishmash of both Chinese and Japanese styles. Wujek then explained that it was intentional. "All of the dancers wore original geisha [dresses], and Katy's version was a little more modern," he said. "For her we took a stunning real kimono and reworked it more into a gown."
Perry has expressed her love for Japan many times before. During her visit to the country earlier this month, the "Roar" hitmaker tweeted a photo of herself with three geishas. "One of these things is not like the other," she captioned the image.
In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel last summer, Perry said, "I am obsessed with Japanese people. I love everything about them and they are so wonderful as human beings." She jokingly added, "I'm so obsessed I want to skin you and wear you like Versace."