Katy Perry Accused of ‘Mom Shaming,’ Bullying Former Church Singer On ‘American Idol’
Singer and “American Idol” judge Katy Perry is being accused of “mom shaming” a mother of three and former church singer after a series of comments she made during the audition.
Sara Beth Liebe, a 25-year-old contestant and a former church choir singer, mentioned during her recent audition on the singing show that she has three kids. Another judge, Lionel Richie, commented suggesting she looked younger.
Perry, a pastor’s daughter who is a secular pop star, responded by leaning over the judges’ table.
“If Katy lays down on the table, I think I’m going to pass out,” Liebe joked.
“Honey, you’ve been laying on the table too much,” Perry responded, and then asked, “Is this your dream? Is it now? If it’s not your dream, you might need to leave because there are a lot of dreams behind you.”
Liebe performed “You Know I’m No Good.” Perry then said, “That’s not enough. Try ‘Bennie and the Jets.’” Liebe did.
After saying it was “like a comic strip character came to life,” Perry returned to questioning whether the young mom was sufficiently committed.
“Look, if it’s not your dream, then it’s not going to go far,” she said. “I also respect everyone who’s walking through that door and would lay down their life for this golden ticket, you know?”
Accusations of mom shaming followed on social media, with some users upset with the “ugly” way Perry treated the contestant.
Perry, who released a contemporary Christian album under her given name, Katy Hudson, before skyrocketing to fame, previously shared she used music to rebel against her pastor parents.
Perry’s parents are Pentecostal pastor parents Mary Christine and Maurice Keith Hudson, who started a church in Santa Barbara, California, in 1980 before becoming “traveling ministers” in 1987, according to their website.
Last March, an episode of “American Idol” featured a young man named Israel McFarland whose religious upbringing caused him to rebel against his mother with his songs. During his audition, Perry encouraged him.
Perry said she could relate to his upbringing and encouraged him to rebel against his religious past by writing a song titled “I Kissed a Boy and I Liked It,” a reference to her own song about a same-sex kiss.
“Alright, Israel, what Satan music are you going to share with us today?” she asked as her fellow judges laughed.