Katy Perry received an honor in the U.K. on Tuesday night, presented to her by His Royal Highness Prince Charles. While there was a lot of planning and pomp and circumstance surrounding the honor, it came as a shock to many. Perry was named ambassador for the British Asian Trust — despite being neither British nor Asian.
On its Twitter account, the British Asian Trust said the organization would work closely with Perry to shine a light on efforts to fight human trafficking and give children a safer future.
The choice of Perry for the role sparked a barrage of disapproving comments. “So [were] all the British Asians unavailable for the job? Pretty disappointing this one won’t lie,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Probably the most confusing thing ever no offense to Katy but as it’s British Asian trust should it not be someone who represents that? She’s not British either and there are many people in the industry who could have taken this role too,” another Tweeted.
During an interview with BBC News, Jasveer Singh of the Sikh Press Association in the U.K. called the appointment “strange.”
“I think the reaction on social media shows that it was perhaps slightly ill-judged,” Singh told journalist Victoria Derbyshire. “A lot of people out there are talking about this as a lack of reflection of diversity in the fact that Katy Perry is not British, she’s not Asian.”
“As far as I can see…she’s the only non-British-Asian ambassador that is listed on the website,” Singh continued. “So, you’d have to really question the reason why she’s been made an ambassador.” He said Perry’s fame is probably the reason the trust chose her as an ambassador.
“Perhaps it’s kind of pandering and doing a favor to someone really famous that can shine a lot of light on the event without anything tangible behind it,” Singh said, saying time will tell if this choice is successful.
CBS News has reached out to the British Asian Trust for comment and is awaiting response.
Perry and Prince Charles met each other at his birthday party in November, the BBC reports. At the British Asian Trust event on Tuesday night, Perry said she’s a “big fan” of the prince.
“In my own personal experience, he has an incredibly kind soul,” Perry said, according to BBC. “So kind, that yes, sometimes he talks to his plants. And he asked me if I could sing to his plants.” She added that she would sing for the prince’s plants in the future.
Perry also said she’s big fan of the work that Prince Charles has done for children in India. She said in her new role as an ambassador she will help support the charity, which helps children in South Asian countries who are forced into work.