Singer Katy Perry is facing backlash after making comments at the Grammys about Britney Spears' public breakdown in 2007.
On the red carpet at the awards show, when asked about taking a break between albums after her most recent album, "Prism," in 2013, Perry answered, "That's called taking care of your mental health," NME reports. The reference to Spears came when presenter Ryan Seacrest asked Perry how her break between albums had been for her. "Fantastic," she replied, "And I haven't shaved my head yet."
The joke was in reference to Spears' public struggles in 2007, when she shaved her head and had a number of strange interactions with the press after reportedly leaving rehab.
Spears has since opened up about her struggles with anxiety, describing one experience where she lost 6 pounds in one day because she had been so anxious about a date, the Independent reports.
"I moved to Los Angeles when I was very young," said Spears in an interview with Marie Claire. "I was so under scrutiny. If a hair was out of place, I'd be so anxious. I would get very anxious about so many things."
Perry also referenced Spears' shaved head in another interview while talking about her hair. "I've done all of them," she said, referring to the variety of hair colors that she has worn, "and the only thing left to do is shave my head, which I’m really saving for a public breakdown. I'm down for that. I'm almost moments away from that, obviously."
Fans of both artists took to social media to voice their disapproval at Perry's comments.
"Have always liked Katy Perry very much, have even met her. But after what she said last night, I've lost a lot of respect for her," said one fan on Twitter. "Making a joke about mental health issues isn't OK."
"Even if it is aimed at Britney Spears it is NEVER OK to joke about mental health, stop adding to the stigma Katy Perry," tweeted another fan.
Another fan called on Perry to apologize to Spears for the jokes. "Katy Perry, you should apologize to Britney Spears," she tweeted. "Shame on you Katy. She never shades anyone."
Fans even created a hashtag over the incident, #KatyPerryIsOver, similar to one created by Taylor Swift fans during Perry's feud with that artist in 2016, according to the Mirror.
"I just lost all my respect for Katy Perry, well the little respect I did have for her," posted one upset fan.