Katy Perry raised some Katy Kats’ eyebrows on Monday (Nov. 7) when the singer posted a thumbs-up picture from the voting booth in California in which she is smiling after voting for longtime Republican-turned-Democrat Rick Caruso in the bruising race for Los Angeles mayor. “I am voting for a myriad of reasons (see the news) but in particular because Los Angeles is a hot mess atm,” Perry wrote in the caption, which featured a series of hashtags, including one hyping billionaire real estate developer Caruso while adding the lengthy “#doyoubutjustuseyourvoteok.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Caruso cut into Rep. Karen Bass’ lead in the days leading up to Tuesday’s (Nov. 8) vote, after spending $26 million on attack ads that sowed doubt about the six-term congresswoman, who the paper said had garnered “overwhelming support” among the city’s strong liberal voting base; the Times noted that Caruso had spent nearly $100 million on the race to date.
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Perry — who performed at Democrat Sen. Hillary Clinton’s DNC gathering in 2016 — joined Kim Kardashian, Snoop Dogg, Gwyneth Paltrow, new Twitter boss Elon Musk and Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt in backing Caruso, a move that rubbed some commenters the wrong way given her past support for reproductive rights; Caruso has donated to anti-abortion organizations and politicians in the past and reportedly pledged $1 million to support an abortion rights proposition, but has yet to donate any of those funds.
The businessman-turned-politician has also been criticized for his time as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for USC during the time that gynecologist George Tyndall was allowed to leave the university in the face of dozens of accusations of sexual misconduct. The L.A. Times reported last month that investigators questioned Caruso in 2020 about what information the university had about Tyndall and that the candidate “refused to answer many questions, on the advice of USC’s legal team.”
Diplo headlined a Caruso-sponsored get out the vote campaign event on Friday at the El Rey Theatre along with Sofia Reyes; the event was put on by Billboard parent company Penske Media Corporation.
While Perry turned off comments on her socials, that didn’t stop a slew of unfavorable reactions to the post about Caruso, who changed his party affiliation a month before entering the race. A spokesperson for Perry had not returned requests for comment at press time.
“This just shows you just how bad things have gotten. That a celebrity would not only vote R — but then publicly post it is something else. You could say the energy is shifting,” read one reaction, with another commenter writing, “katy perry tweeting out a pro-choice video while voting for rick caruso would be objectively hilarious if it wasn’t painfully dumb.”
“As much as the right try to spin it, Katy Perry voting for Rick Caruso is not an indication of anything other than a rich white woman voting for a fake Democrat who will ultimately have no effect on the quality of her life but will worsen the lives of many others,” read a fiery tweet. One person weighed in by focusing more on the candidates than Perry’s celebrity. “Katy Perry voting for Rick Caruso for LA Mayor is incredibly disappointing,” they wrote of the seeming missed opportunity to support the candidate who could be the city’s first female mayor. “Please vote Karen Bass a community oriented politician not a businessman with a redundant platform on homelessness and a history of donating to anti-choice orgs and initiatives.”
Caruso went viral last month after a mayoral debate when he insisted he wasn’t white, but Italian, which he equated with being “Latin.” The odd answer came after an anchor from Telemundo noted that the city’s next mayor could be either “an African-American woman or a white man,” to which Caruso replied, “I’m Italian,” a statement that NBC news said drew “harsh reaction, from scorn to mockery.”
Some of the comments aimed at Perry got a bit personal, with a fan asking why the singer voted so “openly” for Caruso, besides her claim that L.A. is a “hot mess.” “You have a voice. You don’t owe it to anyone but I’ve followed you through all your political stands,” they said. “We marched in the same Women’s March together. what’s the logic?”
Bass has also garnered support from some A-listers, including John Legend, Steven Spielberg, Ariana Grande and Donald Glover, among others.
Check out Perry’s voting photo and some of the reactions below.
Katy Perry voting for Republican Rick Caruso for LA Mayor
This just shows you just how bad things have gotten. That a celebrity would not only vote R — but then publicly post it is something else. You could say the energy is shifting. pic.twitter.com/CHhcVa1W1L
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) November 7, 2022
katy perry tweeting out a pro-choice video while voting for rick caruso would be objectively hilarious if it wasn’t painfully dumb. https://t.co/n6JehiZqpa
— Kyler Bondura (@KyKobra) November 8, 2022
As much as the right try to spin it, Katy Perry voting for Rick Caruso is not an indication of anything other than a rich white woman voting for a fake democrat who will ultimately have no effect on the quality of her life but will worsen the lives of many others.
— Travon (@Travon) November 8, 2022
Y’all, Katy Perry voting for Rick Caruso should be the least surprising thing that happens today. She grew up in Santa Barbara, her parents were local televangelists, she came from money and is a millionaire. What did you think she was gonna do?
— Malynda Hale (@MalyndaHale) November 8, 2022
When Katy Perry, Chris Pratt, and other LA millionaires say they’re voting for Caruso because he’ll clean things up, they’re not talking about helping people or alleviating poverty. It’s about bleaching the existence of poor people from their sight lines by any means necessary.
— Jesse Mechanic (@JMechanic) November 8, 2022
Katy Perry voting for Rick Caruso for LA Mayor is incredibly disappointing.
Please vote Karen Bass a community oriented politician not a businessman with a redundant platform on homelessness and and a history of donating to anti-choice orgs and initiatives
— Pat Lovelace (@patluvlace) November 8, 2022
— Kevin Dalton (@KevinForBOS) November 7, 2022
don’t listen to the kardashians or katy perry— don’t vote for rick caruso— DO vote for karen bass
any celeb you see propping up rick caruso is an alleged class solidarist, permitting a wolf in sheep’s clothing against actual progress to further warp our society’s current state.
— PARODYGIRL (@BIBLEGIRL222) November 7, 2022