Fashion house Dior has been accused of cultural appropriation in its new advert for perfume Sauvage, featuring actor Johnny Depp.
The brand posted the advert online on Friday, only for it to be deleted from its platforms hours later.
The clip, which stars long-time face of the brand Johnny Depp, features a Native American man performing a dance, while the Pirates Of The Caribbean actor plays a guitar and lights a fire in the desert.
Critics of the advert say that the word Sauvage can be translated as “savage” in French – a derogatory term used historically to describe Native American people.
Dallas Goldtooth, of the Lower Sioux Indian Community in Minnesota, said: “That takes it to a whole other level of ignorance and racism.
“You should be well aware of the implications of that word.”
Activist April Reign, who started the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, said: “On its face, this is horrible. Then you confirm the name: Sauvage. Like ‘savage,’ but fancier. THEN I clicked through (so others wouldn’t have to) and Johnny Depp is the face of this.
“Depp, who immersed himself in cultural appropriation with Tonto. @dior, you can’t be serious.”
Tonto is the name of the Native American character he played in the 2013 Disney film The Lone Ranger.
On its face, this is horrible. Then you confirm the name: Sauvage. Like “savage,” but fancier. THEN I clicked through (so others wouldn’t have to) and Johnny Depp is the face of this. Depp, who immersed himself in cultural appropriation with Tonto. @dior, you can’t be serious. https://t.co/tOFBuFMEeM
— April (@ReignOfApril) August 30, 2019
Author Laura Gilman tweeted: “So, either everyone at Dior’s ad company has been snoozing for the past decade+, or they were counting on the outrage for cheap publicity.
“Either way, it stinks of s***** Behavior.”
On Twitter, the brand trailed the advert as: “An authentic journey deep into the Native American soul in a sacred, founding and secular territory.”
Dior worked with the respected consulting group Americans for Indian Opportunity on the advert.
The group’s executive director Laura Harris said that she expected backlash to the advert, but wanted to ensure that Native Americans were part of the production and that it would educate people on indigenous values and philosophy.
She added: “Our aim was hopefully that the controversy would do exactly what it’s done on social media and raise people’s awareness.”
Neither Johnny Depp, Dior nor dancer Canku OneStar, who is himself a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, responded to messages asking for comment.
Source: SKY NEWS