AceShowbiz - Christian Dior has come under fire for a new ad featuring Native America culture. The campaign called "We Are the Land" for Dior's "Sauvage" perfume features Johnny Depp in what is described as "an authentic journey deep into the Native American soul in a sacred, founding and secular territory."
The ad, which was teased through sneak-peek videos and photos on Twitter on Friday, August 30 ahead of its planned release on September 1, features the "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" actor playing a guitar in the desert while co-star Canku One Star of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe performs a warrior dance in a traditional Native American headdress and wardrobe. The dance is described as "the mesmerizing Fancy War Dance that embodies all the modernity of the Native American culture" in an Instagram post.
In a press release, Dior claimed that it worked with a nonprofit organization called the Americans for Indian Opportunity, which refers to itself as a group that advocates for the rights of Indigenous peoples, for the ad which was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino. The group provided advice on "authentic inclusion of Native American images in the film promoting Depp's signature parfum."
The company also stated in the campaign materials, "This collaboration, which started at the very beginning of the project, led to a work process that was extremely demanding and specific. On-going communication about the project, and then on the film set, had a shared aim: moving away from cliches in order to avoid the cultural appropriation and subversion that so often taints images representing Native peoples."
Following the release of the sneak peeks, people have slammed the brand for cultural appropriation and its racist depiction of Native American. The company is accused of profiting off Native American cultural imagery, while the use of Native American culture in the ad for its fragrance "Sauvage" is deemed offensive. "Sauvage" is a French word meaning "wild" or "savage", a slur for Native American. Some Internet users were outraged that the ad promoted "stereotypes."
"RuPaul's Drag Race" season 11 contestant Shuga Chain was among those offended by the ad, writing on Twitter, "I cannot with @Dior exploiting native culture for their fragrance #sauvage...and yes that’s SAVAGE! What the F**K?!? Y’all are disgusting! You mean to tell me that NOT ONE person in your company saw this as an issue through the tiresome ideation process?!?"
"American Gods" actress Kawennahere Devery Jacobs echoed the sentiment as tweeting, "You're telling me that @Dior is profiting off Indigenous culture/imagery, and hired JOHNNY DEPP to star in the ad for a perfume called SAUVAGE?! ...who thought this was okay?"
After the backlash, Dior has removed the ad from its social media platforms, but has not provided a statement responding to the criticism over the campaign.