Katy Perry serves as executive producer on a new public service announcement that questions whether Donald Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric is a sign that history could repeat itself. “Don’t normalize hate,” Perry wrote to her 95 million followers on Twitter.
The PSA tells the true story of 89-year-old Japanese-American Haru Kuromiya, who recalls being registered and placed in an internment camp for four years during the outbreak of World War II.
“We were an American farm family now living in an interment camp and our constitutional rights were taken away from us,” Kuromiya says in the video. “It all started with fear and rumors then it bloomed into the registration of Japanese Americans and then labeling with physical tags and then eventually internment.”
After Kuromiya finishes her story, the actress playing Kuromiya peels off her mask and is revealed to be a Muslim-American actress Hina Khan who warns, “Don’t let history repeat itself,” a response to Trump’s discussed Muslim registry.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the PSA’s director Aya Tanimura talked about why Perry, who will participate in the Women’s March following Trump’s inauguration, became involved in the project.
“I think like a lot of us who are terrified of Trump’s ideals and policies, she is too,” Tanimura said. “And this is one instance where she’s able to help educate someone — even one person — on the horrors of the past and what could potentially be repeated.”
Tanimura added that Perry provided a blank check in order to get the PSA made, including picking up the bill on the pricey prosthetic mask. “Katy has always been a champion of the underdog, of minorities, of the people who are kind of left of center, and she’s become more politically involved in the last few election cycles,” Tanimura said.