On Monday, Afro-Dominican artist and designer Tony Peralta—owner of Taller Peralta studio and the Peralta Project brand—addressed what he referred to as “allegations of sexual assault” that surfaced last week. In an Instagram post, he said his accuser, who he did not name, is “a woman I went out on a date with four years ago.” Though he did not reference them directly, he claims the “allegations are false.” He then uses his upbringing, during which he was “surrounded by women” to somehow support his alleged innocence.
Until now, Peralta’s influence loomed large in the Dominican community and beyond. He proudly claims Lin-Manuel Miranda, Swizz Beats and Alicia Keys as fans, and one of his pieces, “Celia Con Rolos,” was added to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum in D.C.
Last week, a Black Dominican woman shared a personal story of assault.
“Nearly 4 years ago, I was raped by a Black cis-hetero male artist in the Dominican community,” she wrote. She alleged she was raped and noted that “It’s someone who a lot of y’all support and adore.”
Fear of ostracization or gaslighting—or a number of other negative responses that would deny her truth—kept her silent until now, she explained in the post. The person did not name Peralta outright, but many on social media quickly deduced it was him.
On June 21, an account called Cancel Peralta shared its first post. Using the hashtag #CancelPeralta, the caption explained the platform would be “a virtual space for the stories to be heard and the truth to be told.”
The account now has over 1,000 followers.
On the account, as well as in the comments of the survivor’s original post, additional accusations and issues emerged. Accusations include women who say Peralta made them uncomfortable, belittled them, or expressed negative attitudes toward Black women. There are also allegations that Peralta has stolen work from independent artists and small businesses.
What the survivor wants, however, is what she expressed as a comment on her original post.
“I need you to stop letting ‘small things’ slide aka red flags fly; the jokes, the ‘men will be men’ behaviors, the problematic conversations they bring up. Abusive men are charismatic and charming to their friends and family and whole monsters to those of us they abuse. Examine why you don’t believe Black womxn? Why don’t you question men’s asshole tendencies? Why [aren’t you] critical about how they weaponize their emo/emotional characteristics to continue to gaslight and harm womxn? Why our ‘no’s’ aren’t enough? How can you better show up? But most of all: WHY DON’T Y’ALL BELIEVE WOMXN?”
No additional statements directly addressing this issue have been made at this time.
Update: This post has been updated for identity protection purposes.