The brand has been accused of cultural appropriation and racism after starring a Native American in the ad
Image via Instagram @diorparfums
Consumers have hit back at luxury French goods company Dior over claims its Sauvage fragrance campaign was culturally inappropriate.
In the advert, which has since been pulled, Dior depicts a Native American dancing in traditional clothing alongside long-standing Dior frontman Johnny Depp.
However, it was the tagline Sauvage which immediately sparked criticism.
Twitter user Stacy Roberts said: “I’m not going to entertain any arguments about the difference between the French word #Sauvage and the English word savage. I think they knew exactly what they were saying, and it’s racist.”
I really don’t know how companies like @Dior so blindly come up with a name or campaign like Sauvage, and appropriate indigenous culture for the sake of selling a product. Does someone at the table not say, “You know, let’s side step this and not go viral for the wrong reasons”? https://t.co/9xYtiUrm0D— 𝙴𝚁𝙽𝙴𝚂𝚃𝚂𝙴𝚆𝙴𝙻𝙻 🏳️🌈 (@ernestsewell) August 30, 2019
This is disgusting @dior. This is video from the #Sauvage release event, captured by @Official_Cat, showing some weird #redface stunt meant to convey #Sauvage aesthetics. WTF is going on here???! pic.twitter.com/dijzZYgEgQ— Aaron Yazzie (@YazzieSays) August 31, 2019
Another wrote: “Calling us savage in a different language and accent doesn’t remove the long-standing historical violence and racism we continue to experience.”
Depp’s co-star Tanaya Beatty also spoke out about the campaign.
On her Instagram page she said the campaign was “missguided” and that she was “directly affected by being there and witnessing as a company blatantly disrespected indigenous culture.”
She added: “The images depicted are offensive, racist and plainly wrong.”
However, she agreed the campaign intended to show Native American culture “in a beautiful light”.
In response Dior told Cosmetics Business: “The House of Dior wishes to address the strong reactions to the trailer for the new campaign for Dior’s Sauvage fragrance. Featuring a Native American artist, performing a traditional Fancy Dance.
“This campaign was inspired by the deep and rich Native American heritage and culture which the House of Dior holds in the highest regard.
“To ensure accuracy and inclusion the House of Dior worked closely with Native American consultants, artists, writers and dancers, as well as the Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO) association.
“The House of Dior has a long lasting committement against racism, or any kind of discrimination and will continue with this work and produly support organisations that fight against these burdens.
“In acknowledgement of these reactions, the trailer has now been removed and the new campaign will be released later.”
In recent years, the beauty industry has attracted a flurry of unwanted attention surrounding cultural appropriation.