“I thought the concept of the character would be clear to anyone who saw it, which was ignorant on my part, for which I am sorry,” she wrote. “Just to be clear, every aspect of the character was inspired by caucasian people, there was no black-influence going on in my mind during the time of conception. But now I see the people that inspired the character are/have been problematic, and by dressing up and parodying as them, I too am contributing to the issue in its own way, something I hadn't thought of and don’t want to contribute to.”
Still, the apology wasn’t enough for some people, as Drag Race season 10 winner Aquaria commented on the post.
“No shade and not meaning to get into things as I know u don’t mean harm but also u were the color of ur coffee and I’ve never seen a fake tan pumped girl with such a cool and natural undertone across the body,” Aquaria commented. “I think people know u like to explore that character but I think it’s usually a bit easier for others to understand if it’s a less realistic shade for someone’s natural skin (like something a bit more orange) and I think it’s also fair to assume hopefully u saw that before posting as well. Not trying to dogpile but people have come for me for far lighter and I’d imagined you didn’t mean harm but were also both not blind or idiots.”
Entertainment Weekly reports that in now-deleted comments, Pearl replied, telling Aquaria that she was “the last person who needs to weigh in on this” and “I couldn’t hold a candle to the drama u have gotten yourself into so to see u here projecting is really awkward and twisted. U are nobody to comment on my cosplay when u have been cosplaying me ur whole damn career.”
“To be clear, I do not care what you think about the situation or how I’ve chosen to handle it, my apology is not at all intended for you babe, so just keep texting your friends about me thanks for your input,” she added.
Aquaria then expanded on her arguments.
“Certainly ‘not my place to take offense’ and I obviously know u and ur art and character but I don’t think it’s brown and Black peoples places to remind u the fine line you tread when performing such debatable art,” she said in one comment.
After pointing out that the consistent body color and undertones plainly show that the since-deleted pictures were much darker than previous versions of her fake tan character and noted that there were a lot of people “doing backflips to rationalize the original harm.”
“There’s quite a fine line between impact and intent in this situation and it feels like a very big slap in the face (or embarrassment to some people's judgment) to try to rationalize things while people very much saw the post as inappropriate,” she wrote in another. “Good luck to y’all and hope something helps u come around to understanding truly.”
It looks like this drama isn’t dying down any time soon.