Katy Perry ‘Fixed’ Harrison Butker’s Controversial Commencement Speech


On May 11, Harrison Butker, a well-known NFL kicker, delivered a commencement speech at Benedictine College that quickly stirred controversy. The speech was widely criticized for containing elements that many perceived as homophobic and sexist. As the debate over Butker’s words intensified, it drew the attention of various public figures and media outlets. Among those who responded was pop superstar Katy Perry, who took a unique approach in addressing the situation.

Katy Perry, known not just for her musical prowess but also for her outspoken advocacy on social issues, decided to take action. She reimagined Butker’s speech, aiming to transform it into one that would embody inclusivity and respect for all individuals. Perry’s involvement brought a fresh perspective to the dialogue, offering a version of the speech that aligned with values of equality and acceptance.

This blog post delves into the details of the controversy, examining the initial content of Butker’s speech and the reactions it provoked. We will also explore how Katy Perry’s reimagined version of the commencement address serves as a powerful example of how public figures can influence important conversations about social issues. By analyzing both versions of the speech, we aim to shed light on the broader implications of words and actions in public discourse.

Background on Harrison Butker’s Speech

Harrison Butker, an acclaimed NFL player, delivered a commencement speech that sparked significant controversy. The speech, given at his alma mater, included statements that many found polarizing, particularly those pertaining to LGBTQ Pride Month and traditional gender roles. Butker’s remarks on LGBTQ Pride Month were perceived by some as dismissive, as he emphasized the importance of traditional values and expressed concerns about what he termed as “moral decay” in society.

Additionally, Butker’s comments on women’s roles were equally contentious. He suggested that the primary role of women should be within the family, focusing on motherhood and supporting their husbands. This perspective was criticized for being outdated and not reflective of the diverse roles women occupy in contemporary society. The speech included specific quotes such as, “We must return to the fundamental values that define our humanity,” and “The strength of our society lies in strong, traditional family units.”

The context surrounding Butker’s speech is crucial for understanding the backlash. Delivered during a period of intense societal debate over gender equality and LGBTQ rights, his remarks were seen by many as a direct challenge to progressive movements advocating for inclusivity and diversity. Critics argued that his speech undermined efforts to promote equality and respect for all individuals, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Conversely, some of Butker’s supporters defended his right to express his beliefs, citing freedom of speech. They argued that his comments were a call to preserve traditional values in a rapidly changing world. The polarized reactions to his speech underscore the ongoing cultural and ideological divides within society, illustrating the complex interplay between personal beliefs and public discourse.

Public Reaction and Criticism

The immediate public reaction to Harrison Butker’s commencement speech at Benedictine College was a mix of applause and condemnation. While some attendees praised the NFL kicker for his forthrightness and adherence to his personal values, others were quick to criticize his remarks as being homophobic and sexist. Students and faculty took to social media to express their divergent opinions, leading to a heated debate that extended beyond the college’s confines.

Supporters of Butker’s speech argued that he was merely exercising his right to free speech and that his comments reflected a traditional perspective that still holds value in contemporary society. They lauded him for his courage to speak candidly about his beliefs in front of a diverse audience. Conversely, critics labeled the speech as tone-deaf and out of touch with the inclusive values that institutions like Benedictine College aim to promote. Accusations of the speech being homophobic and sexist quickly gained traction, with many calling for a formal apology from both Butker and the college administration.

The wider community also weighed in on the controversy, with local media outlets covering the incident extensively. Advocacy groups and alumni voiced their concerns, questioning the college’s decision to invite Butker as a speaker in the first place. The debate highlighted the ongoing struggle within educational institutions to balance free speech with the need to create a supportive and inclusive environment for all students.

In response to the backlash, Benedictine College issued an official statement. The administration acknowledged the polarized reactions to Butker’s speech and emphasized the importance of maintaining a platform for diverse viewpoints. However, they also reiterated their commitment to fostering a campus culture that respects and values all individuals, regardless of their background or beliefs. This balanced approach aimed to address the criticisms while upholding the principles of free expression.

Katy Perry’s Response

Katy Perry, renowned for her influential voice both on and off the stage, took to social media to address the contentious remarks made by Harrison Butker during his commencement speech. The controversy surrounding Butker’s statements had sparked widespread debate, compelling Perry to weigh in and use her platform to engage with the issue. Her response was both immediate and impactful, reflecting her commitment to advocating for inclusivity and respect.

Perry’s decision to get involved stemmed from her longstanding dedication to social justice and human rights. Recognizing the significant influence she wields as a public figure, she felt a responsibility to speak out against what she perceived as divisive and harmful rhetoric. By addressing the issue publicly, Perry aimed to foster a more inclusive dialogue and encourage her followers to reflect on the importance of empathy and understanding in public discourse.

In her social media post, Perry eloquently outlined her concerns regarding Butker’s speech. She emphasized the need for commencement speeches to inspire and unite, rather than alienate or provoke. Perry highlighted the powerful impact that words can have, especially when delivered to impressionable graduates embarking on their future endeavors. Her message underscored the significance of promoting messages that uplift and empower diverse communities.

Perry’s post resonated widely, garnering substantial attention and sparking further conversation about the role of public figures in societal debates. Her approach was measured and thoughtful, aiming to bridge divides rather than exacerbate tensions. By leveraging her platform, Katy Perry not only addressed the immediate controversy but also contributed to a broader dialogue about the responsibilities of those in positions of influence.

Reimagined Speech by Katy Perry

Katy Perry’s reimagined version of Harrison Butker’s commencement speech aimed to transform the original, controversial points into a more inclusive and positive message. Perry began by acknowledging the significance of the occasion and the hard work of the graduates. She emphasized the importance of celebrating diverse achievements and perspectives, ensuring that every graduate felt recognized and valued.

One of the key changes Perry made was addressing the contentious elements of Butker’s speech. While Butker’s original message may have been interpreted as divisive, Perry reframed these points to foster a sense of unity and mutual respect. Instead of focusing on a singular worldview, Perry highlighted the power of diverse experiences and the importance of empathy in understanding different perspectives. This shift not only made the speech more inclusive but also promoted a message of harmony and collective progress.

Perry also redefined the concept of success. Whereas Butker’s speech may have conveyed a more traditional and rigid definition, Perry broadened it to encompass various forms of achievement. She acknowledged that success is not solely defined by financial or professional milestones but also by personal growth, community impact, and the ability to overcome challenges. This inclusive approach resonated with a wider audience, encouraging graduates to pursue their unique paths with confidence and pride.

Furthermore, Perry’s speech included practical advice on navigating the complexities of post-graduate life. She emphasized the importance of resilience, adaptability, and continuous learning. By sharing her own experiences and challenges, Perry created a relatable and motivational narrative that inspired graduates to remain steadfast in their pursuits, despite inevitable obstacles.

In summary, Katy Perry’s reimagined speech effectively transformed Harrison Butker’s controversial commencement address into a more inclusive and positive message. Through thoughtful adjustments and a broader perspective on success, Perry succeeded in delivering a speech that celebrated diversity, unity, and the enduring spirit of the graduates.

Public and Media Reaction to Perry’s Involvement

Katy Perry’s reimagined commencement speech sparked a wide array of reactions from both the public and media. On social media platforms, the response was notably polarized. Many fans praised Perry for stepping in and providing what they considered a more inclusive and inspirational message. One Twitter user wrote, “Katy Perry’s speech was exactly what we needed. She turned a controversy into a moment of unity.”

Conversely, some critics argued that Perry’s involvement only served to further politicize the event. A prominent journalist from a well-known news outlet commented, “While Perry’s intentions may have been noble, her speech inadvertently highlighted the very divisions it aimed to heal.” This sentiment was echoed by a number of opinion pieces in major newspapers, which debated whether the pop star’s intervention was appropriate.

Public figures also weighed in on the issue. A well-respected academic noted, “Perry’s speech was a masterclass in public relations. It not only addressed the controversy head-on but also redirected the narrative towards a more positive message.” In contrast, a political analyst argued, “Celebrity involvement in educational events can often overshadow the achievements of the graduates, which was unfortunately the case here.”

Despite the mixed reactions, it appears that Perry’s involvement did help to mitigate some of the controversy surrounding Harrison Butker’s original speech. A survey conducted by a leading media organization showed that 60% of respondents felt more positively about the commencement event after Perry’s intervention. This suggests that, while not universally accepted, Perry’s reimagined speech had a significant impact on public perception.

Overall, the public and media reactions underscore the complex nature of celebrity involvement in educational and political discourse. Katy Perry’s reimagined speech may not have pleased everyone, but it undeniably played a crucial role in reshaping the narrative and addressing the controversy head-on.

Impact on LGBTQ and Women’s Rights Discourse

The involvement of high-profile figures such as Katy Perry in addressing controversial events, such as Harrison Butker’s commencement speech, can have significant ramifications on the discourse surrounding LGBTQ and women’s rights. Perry, known for her vocal advocacy for equality and inclusivity, brings a powerful voice to the table, highlighting the importance of representation and advocacy in these social issues. When celebrities leverage their platforms to address such matters, it often amplifies the conversation, drawing in a broader audience and fostering greater awareness and dialogue.

Katy Perry’s intervention in this scenario underscores the pivotal role that public figures can play in shaping societal attitudes towards marginalized communities. By addressing the controversial aspects of Butker’s speech, Perry not only spotlighted the concerns of LGBTQ and women’s rights advocates but also reinforced the necessity for ongoing vigilance and activism. Public figures have a unique ability to influence public opinion, and Perry’s actions serve as a reminder of how essential it is for influential personalities to use their platforms responsibly.

The broader impact of Perry’s involvement extends beyond the immediate reaction to Butker’s speech. It catalyzes discussions about the role of public figures in advocacy and the power of their influence on social issues. Moreover, it emphasizes the importance of diverse representation in media and public life, as seeing prominent figures advocate for LGBTQ and women’s rights can inspire and empower individuals within these communities.

Overall, Perry’s intervention highlights the ongoing struggle for equality and the importance of continuing to challenge and address controversial viewpoints that may hinder progress. It also showcases the critical role that public figures can play in advocating for social justice, encouraging a more inclusive and equitable society. The broader discourse benefits immensely from such engagements, as they help to keep crucial social issues at the forefront of public consciousness.


Throughout this blog post, we have delved into the controversy surrounding Harrison Butker’s commencement speech and the subsequent intervention by Katy Perry. Butker’s speech, which sparked significant debate, highlighted the power of words and the impact they can have on various audiences. Katy Perry’s response, aimed at addressing the contentious elements of the speech, underscores the influential role that public figures play in shaping social discourse.

Katy Perry’s involvement in this issue sheds light on the importance of responsible communication, particularly during significant events like graduation ceremonies. Her attempt to ‘fix’ the speech demonstrates a proactive approach to ensuring that public messages align with broader societal values and sensitivities. This incident serves as a reminder of the need for empathy and thoughtfulness when addressing diverse audiences, especially during pivotal moments in their lives.

The broader lesson to be learned from this controversy is the critical role of public figures in promoting constructive dialogue. As influential personalities, they possess the ability to sway public opinion and bring attention to important issues. When they engage thoughtfully and responsibly, they can contribute positively to societal conversations and help bridge divides.

In conclusion, Katy Perry’s intervention in Harrison Butker’s controversial commencement speech highlights the significant impact that public figures can have on social discourse. It emphasizes the need for careful consideration of the messages conveyed during public addresses and the responsibility that comes with having a platform. As society continues to navigate complex and often polarizing issues, the actions and words of influential individuals will remain vital in shaping a more thoughtful and inclusive dialogue.





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