Katy Perry edits Harrison Butker’s controversial graduation speech in honor of Pride month

Katy Perry has shared an edited version of Harrison Butker’s controversial graduation speech in honor of Pride Month.

The singer, 39, took to Instagram on 1 June – the first day of Pride Month – to reveal the changes she made to Butker’s 2024 commencement speech at Benedictine College, a Catholic school in Kansas. When taking the stage at the school last month, the Kansas City Chiefs kicker made multiple attacks on LGBT+ Pride Month, criticized President Joe Biden for his faith, and suggested women should focus on motherhood instead of their careers.

In the new, edited speech, posted by Perry, Butker started by celebrating the “ladies” in the audience who were graduating college, noting that they “should be proud of all that [they] have achieved to this point in [their] young lives”.

While the video continued with lines from Butker’s speech, his remarks were heavily edited to change when he said them, ultimately changing the meaning of his remarks. For example, instead of including his initial comments about why women should be “homemakers,” the new speech showed him describing all the success women could reach in their careers.

“How many of you are sitting here now, about to cross this stage, and are thinking about all the promotions and titles you’re going to get in your career?” he continued in the edited version of the speech. “I would venture to guess the women here today are going to lead successful careers in the world.”

The edited speech also changed Butker’s claims that women shouldn’t pursue a career, as he originally alleged that they’d feel successful in their lives when they become a “wife and mother”.

“I say all of this to you because I have seen it firsthand, how much happier someone can be supporting women and not saying that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world,” he continued in the altered speech.

Perry’s video concluded with Butker instead celebrating diversity in America and recognizing Pride Month.

“The road ahead is bright, things are changing, society is shifting and people young and old are embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion,” he said. “With that said, I want to say happy Pride Month to all of you. And congratulations Class of 2024.”

The “Dark Horse” singer went on to describe why she made the changes to Butker’s speech in the caption. “Fixed this for my girls, my graduates, and my gays — you can do anything, congratulations and happy pride,” she wrote.

In his original commencement speech last month, Butker, attacked what he called “dangerous gender ideologies” in an apparent reference to Pride month, which has been celebrated in June since the Stonewall riots in 1969. He said the annual celebration was an example of the “deadly sins”. He also criticized an article by the Associated Press highlighting a shift toward conservativism in some parts of the Catholic Church.

Aside from encouraging women to be “homemakers”, he had a message for the men in the crowd as well; “be unapologetic in your masculinity” and “fight against the cultural emasculation of men”. He later quoted Taylor Swift, saying “As my teammate’s girlfriend says, ‘familiarity breeds contempt,’” though he failed to realize Swift lifted the line from a common phrase.

After being hit with immense backlash for his remarks, Butker recently doubled down on the controversial views in his speech. He addressed the criticism while attending a gala on May 24 presented by the Regina Caeli Academy, a Catholic homeschool organization.

“The theme for tonight’s gala, Courage Under Fire, was decided many months ago, but it now feels providential that this would be the theme after what we have all witnessed these last two weeks,” Butker said. “If it wasn’t clear that the timeless Catholic values are hated by many, it is now.”

He also reiterated that his thoughts in his speech came from his religious beliefs. “Our love for Jesus, and thus, our desire to speak out, should never be outweighed by the longing of our fallen nature to be loved by the world,” Butker said. “Glorifying God and not ourselves should always remain our motivation despite any pushback, or even support. I lean on those closest to me for guidance, but I can never forget that it is not people, but Jesus Christ who I’m trying to please.”