Katy Perry is ~witnessing~ a shitstorm of outrage after she cracked a seemingly innocent joke about koalas.
In a new 30-second spot for retail giant Myer (below) spruiking a competition to win tickets to her freshly-announced Aussie Witness album tour, the pop heroine signs off by cooing to her pocket-sized pet pooch Nugget, “Let’s go chase some koalas!”
Some might interpret the remark as a cute metaphor for “Let’s go to Australia!”, but some animal advocates down under aren’t laughing. In fact, they’re pissed.
Queensland wildlife vet and former Big Brother housemate Claire Madden tells News Corp she’s “sickened” by the ad, and has challenged Perry to come in and see some of the koalas horrifically injured in dog attacks that she has to treat on a daily basis.
After being alerted to the vet’s concerns, Myer has apologised and agreed to yank the offensive comment from their commercial, which you can still view in full (at the time of writing) below.
“We are aware of comments in relation to Katy Perry’s Witness: The Tour advertisement and a particular reference made to koalas. We are currently removing the material which references koalas,” a spokesperson for Myer tells News Corp.
Madden, who’s currently in a bid to revive her reality TV career by becoming Ten‘s next Bondi Vet (after competing on Big Brother in 2006), is pleased that Myer has removed Katy’s offensive comment, but reckons it should never have been given the green light in the first place.
“This is just absolute ignorance from Perry and Myer, and inappropriate on so many levels,” she says.
“Perry is a role model to so many young people, and this just destroys all the good work we do to try to encourage people not to let their dogs come into contact with koalas.”
This isn’t the first time in recent weeks that koalas have been at the centre of a controversy embroiling a touring international artist. Mention of the iconic furballs was of course what sparked Hanson to land themselves in hot water by referring to Justin Bieber’s music as “chlamydia of the ear”.
Katy Perry returns to Australia for her Witness album tour in July 2018. Watch the unedited version of her Myer ad while you can, below.