Camila Cabello addresses controversy over backup dancer’s appearance

Andrew Lipovsky/NBC

Camila Cabello performed her new song “Don’t Go Yet” live on TV for the first time on Friday on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, but some fans expressed concern over the appearance of one of her backup dancers.

The dance number included a diverse array of dancers dressed in 80s fashion — similarly to the song’s official music video.  However, critics claimed one backup dancer, who is white, darkened his skin with makeup.  This led to some accusing Camila of promoting “blackface.”

Camila denied the accusations when responding to the backlash and explained that the dancer was supposed to represent a white man with a bad orange spray tan.

Taking to Twitter, the Grammy nominee explained, “Hey! So this dude was just supposed to be a white man with a terrible spray tan. [W]e purposefully tried to pull together a multicultural group of performers, the expectation was not that everyone in the performance needed to be Latin.”

She continued, “There are white people, African American people, [L]atin 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,” the “Havana” singer concluded, signing the note with a red heart emoji.

She also shared an Instagram story from the dancer in question, who posted a photo of his getup and captioned the snap, “In case you missed my spray tan last night.”

In a final tweet on Saturday, Camila teased fans that “Don’t Go Yet” is just the “appetizer of a full-course meal.”

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