Camila Cabello’s new single “Don’t Go Yet” made its live debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Friday night (July 23).
Joining Cabello onstage for the song were a number of dancers, all dressed in ’80s costumes, reflecting the theme of the new track’s music video.
On Saturday (July 24), Cabello’s name trended on Twitter with comments about the performance — including criticism from people offended by her performing with a white dancer whose skin appeared much darker in his stage makeup. Some Twitter users expressed that they felt the dancer performed in blackface.
In response to the tweets, Cabello said that the intention was for the dancer to look like a character with a bad fake tan.
On Saturday afternoon Cabello shared an iPhone Notes app statement that said: “hey! so this dude was just supposed to be a white man with a terrible spray tan. we purposefully tried to pull together a multicultural group of performers, the expectation was not that everyone in the performance needed to be Latin. There are white people, African American people, latin people, etc. and so the point wasn’t to try to make everyone look Latin either. There are a lot of people in the performance who are not.”
“The point was to try to make each person look like an over the top 80’s character just like in the video, including a white dude with a terrible orange spray tan,” Cabello wrote. Billboard reached out to a representative for Cabello for further comment.
The singer’s tweet also included a screenshot of the dancer’s Instagram Story, where he posted a selfie with the caption “In case you missed my spray tan last night on @jimmyfallon with @camila_cabello.”
In another tweet, Cabello shared a clip of the Fallon performance and said, “on my team we try to create a culture of kindness, joy, & love & you could feel that this week. none of this could be possible without the dream team that makes it happen & the fans that continue to support.”
“Don’t Go Yet” premiered on Friday. It’s her first new music since the release of her sophomore album, 2019’s Romance.
See Cabello’s note and watch the “Don’t Go Yet” performance below.