Throughout her career – first as a tattoo artist and later as a makeup mogul – Kat Von D has garnered a lot of fans, but also a lot of critics for her past comments and people she chose to accept into her life. Peppered across her social media channels are comments accusing her of being anti-Semitic and an anti-vaxxer. On Thursday, Kat attempted to address these criticisms in an 11-minute video, which explains her side of the story. And while she gets honest about sexual and verbal harassment and her own past ignorance, some still believe that the apology isn’t enough.
Kat begins by explaining that she’s not anti-Semitic and that these comments started after an envious Miami Ink co-star, who she said assaulted her, learned that she would get her own spin-off show. “He thought he could cancel my show by going to the network and showing this 8 x 10 with a forged anti-Semitic message on it,” she said. “He ended up following through with this threat and went to the media.”
She said TLC – the network behind Miami Ink and her show, LA Ink – recognized the note wasn’t in her handwriting, but instructed her not to speak out on the topic. All the while, she said, she was branded an anti-Semite. But there are a few flaws with her explanation. Mainly, Kat Von D didn’t discuss Jesse James, her former boyfriend who has dressed up in Nazi uniforms. Her current husband, Leafar Seyer, also has a swastika tattooed on his neck, which he has previously said is not “a political one.” In a 2018 Instagram comment, he elaborated, explaining that it’s “not a German swastika! It’s seating on a lotus flowers and it represents; the 4 seasons; winter, spring, summer, fall. The 4 directions; South, East, West, north. Also peace, auspiciousness, and good luck.”
Some people have also taken issue with the fact that Kat Von D seemingly tried to invoke her Latinidad to prove she couldn’t be anti-Semitic. “Out of every comment that I’ve gotten, the ones that are calling me and my family Nazis are the ones that don’t sit well with me. I know a lot of you guys don’t know that I am, myself, a proud Latina. I was born in Mexico.”
But despite the fact that our communities are often victims of bigoted attacks, we aren’t immune to spreading prejudice or treating other disenfranchised groups poorly.
As for the anti-vaxxing claims – which started after she said in June that she wouldn’t vaccinate her baby – Kat has said that as a first-time mother, she read sources that made her hesitant to trust vaccinations. From now on, she said, she will keep the decisions she makes about her baby to herself.
Since the video, which has received more than 360,000 views, went up, people have expressed both their support and criticism of Kat Von D. Below, check out some of the very valid arguments against her comments.