Monday, May 27, 2019

Dolce & Gabbana China Show Cancelled Due To Being Accused Of Racism

It has been reported that Dolce & Gabbana have been forced to cancel their catwalk show in Shanghai, China by local government authorities after many took offence to their marketing campaign that was posted on Monday.  The video was of a Chinese model eating Italian food with chopsticks which was perceived as racist and was taken down after less than 24 hours. 

The situation was made worse by then comments from Stefano Gabbana and D&G's official instagram accounts the day the catwalk was meant to take place. There were insensitive and unfair comments about China and Chinese internet users however, the duo has claimed that the account was hacked. The comments were quickly removed but many took screenshots with the trending hashtags #BoycottDolce. The Weibo hashtag #DGTheGreatShowCancelled has been read 540 million times, and mentioned in 74,000 discussions.

Apparently this isn’t the first time D&G have been accused of racist messaging. 18 months ago a previous #DGLovesChina campagin depicted Beijing that left Chinese internet users feeling looked backwards and underdeveloped. 

Furthermore, both Gabbana and Domenico Dolce have made other insensitive statements in the past such as referring to babies conceived by in vitro fertilisation as “synthetic”,to refusing to support the right of gay parents to adopt. They have also described gladiator sandals as “slave sandals”. Gabbana has called Selena Gomez "ugly" on Instagram in June and the Kardashian family "the most cheap people in the world" in July. 

In my opinion, after watching the campaign video on Diet Prada, I feel that the video is confusing and un-relatable. I can understand why the Chinese feel this is racist to their culture, particularly to the words used in the video as it’s almost making a mockery of the existence of chopsticks. Reading this article from BOF I never knew that D&G had been insensitive to many others before and therefore, I feel this changes my opinion on the brand and whether I would ever buy from them in the future. I feel that if they wanted to combine the Italian and Chinese culture they should have thought more into the word choices they used in the background. 

The duo designers have been known for using social media to voice their opinions according to BOF. However, upsetting the Chinese consumers can have a vital effect on the brand as they are one of their biggest consumers, who spend a lot on the brand. Furthermore, the Chinese support can make or break a brand performance so it will be interesting to see how D&G manage this controversy. 


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