The singer clarified on Saturday that the dancer, Dylan Pearce, was "just supposed to be a white man with a terrible spray tan" for the performance of her new song "Don't Go Yet."
"We purposefully tried to pull together a multicultural group of performers, the expectation was not that everyone in the performance needed to be Latin," she tweeted. "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."
Cabello added that "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."
Her tweet also included a screengrab from Pearce's Instagram Stories, which showed him in his performance ensemble. His caption read: "In case you missed my spray tan last night on @jimmyfallon with @camila_cabello."
A Cabello fan account also posted a grab from stylist Lisa Katnić, who worked on the "Don't Go Yet" music video, defending Pearce's look.
"For people messaging me feeling stressed about this character, he is meant to have a bad fake tan. The makeup artist put light concealer around his eyes to express that," the caption read. "Perhaps it needed to be lighter so it was more pronounced. This is not blackface. Sorry if it looked like that to anybody but I assure you that was not the vibe."
Cabello's explanations did little to change critics' minds, with many pointing to her past controversies as proof of a pattern of racist behavior. Earlier this year, the singer said she had attended racial healing sessions after her old Tumblr posts, which contained the n-word and racist jokes, resurfaced in 2019. She also launched the Healing Justice Project, which donated money to 10 BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and youth-led organizations.
"instead of trying to find an excuse for that man, you should at least apologize to the community you have offended. disappointed smh," one person tweeted.
Another pointed out that Pearce used an emoji of a Black woman while describing his outfit on stage.
Watch the performance below: