The younger singer of pop music skirts the line of controversy with her new promo video that features her playing the role of a joke-cracking rabbi.
Katy Perry has released a new promo video for her new single, “Birthday,” that features the singer as a mistress of disguise.
Among other birthday-related professionals — an aged dancer named Goldie (for her “golden nuggets”) and a Craigslist birthday clown — Perry dresses as “Yosef Shulem,” a bar mitzvah DJ who has a penchant for telling offensive rabbi jokes.
Pop culture mavens who caught wind of the ire Perry drew after dressing as a geisha at the American Music Awards might have expected the pop star to learn a little about cultural (in)appropriation. But there she is, wearing a kippah, a Jew-fro, and some hastily applied facial hair.
Maybe Perry is just riding the wave of other famous bar mitzvah videos. But the kippah-slapping, gravel-voiced Yosef Shulem character is enough to give us pause — or maybe refrain from downloading her new single.
“Did you hear about the rabbi who gave out free circumcisions?” Perry-as-Shulem asks. “He worked for tips!”