Camila Cabello Explains Backup Dancer's Makeup After 'Blackface' Accusations

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The rollout for Camila Cabello’s new album got off to a shaky start last week when the stage makeup worn by one of her backup dancers drew online backlash.

Cabello on Friday appeared on “The Tonight Show” to perform “Don’t Go Yet,” which will appear on her forthcoming album “Familia.” The high-energy, tightly choreographed number, however, was hit with criticism when viewers noticed dancer Dylan Pearce sporting what some interpreted as blackface.

“Camila, I love you, but ok, there’s a mistake in your performance, one of the dancers was practicing blackface and that’s unforgivable,” one person tweeted. “You wanted representation but failed, pay more attention.” Added another: “Camila Cabello really had a man in blackface on national television in 2021 and she’s still about to have a career…”

Watch Camila Cabello perform “Don’t Go Yet” below.

Cabello, who is Cuban American, posted a note to her social media pages Sunday clarifying that Pearce was meant to look like “a white man with a terrible spray tan.”

“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 wrote alongside a behind-the-scenes photo of Pearce in costume. “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.”

In 2019, the former Fifth Harmony member was accused of sharing offensive memes and using racist language on a since-deleted Tumblr blog. The alleged posts dated back to 2012, when Cabello was aged 14 or 15.

Shortly after the posts resurfaced, Camillo posted a long statement to social media in which she apologized for having used “embarrassingly ignorant” language in the past.

“When I was younger, I used language that I’m deeply ashamed of and will regret forever,” she wrote. “I was uneducated and ignorant and once I became aware of the history and the weight and true meaning behind this horrible and hurtful language, I was deeply embarrassed I ever used it.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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