Johnny Depp Fights Back Against Claims Of Cultural Appropriation, Says There Was No Harmful ‘Intent’ In Dior Ad
French fashion house Dior and Johnny Depp have been in the headlines for a campaign that many are calling blatant cultural appropriation. The campaign featured a trailer for a short film that showed Johnny Depp playing a guitar in the desert while a traditional Native American dancer of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe performed a war dance.
Many say the campaign missed the mark and called it yet another example of major corporations exploiting Indigenous cultures for profit.
But Johnny Depp is speaking out against the uproar and trying to put the public in its place and let’s just say it’s not going over too well
Johnny Depp isn’t having any of the drama and is sticking up for his ad campaign with the French fashion house.
Johnny Depp has come out fighting amid claims he helped facilitate the ‘cultural appropriation’ of Native American imagery for a Dior advert, by insisting the promotion was ‘made with respect’.
Depp was dragged into the controversy by co-star Tanya Beatty who issued a public call on Instagram for him to make a charitable donation as recompense for having ‘blatantly disrespected indigenous culture’, an idea Depp now seems unlikely to take up.
In a robust defence of the ‘Just Ad Indian’ campaign for Dior Sauvage, Depp said: “A teaser is obviously a very concentrated version of images and there were objections to the teaser of the small film. The film has never been seen. There was never — and how could there be or how would there be — any dishonourable [intent].
“‘It’s a pity that people jumped the gun and made these objections. However, their objections are their objections. It was a film made out of great respect and with great respect and love for the Native American peoples to bring light to them.”
All of this started when Dior released an ad that many people called our for blatant cultural appropriation.
Depp had faced criticism over the campaign for the French fashion house after a clip debuted. The clip, part of a short film directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, showed Depp wandering through desert as Native Americans perform a war dance in traditional dress. The company received complaints that it was offensive and it was subsequently taken down.
Dior also moved to defend itself from claims of cultural appropriation.
According to Dior, Native American consultants from an indigenous advocacy organization worked with the brand on the project, “in order to respect Indigenous cultures, values, and heritage.”
Depp said that there has been no final decision to pull the ad and the creative teams plan to meet and work with those who were offended by the clip to come to a resolution. He noted the creative team had worked with the Comanche Nation and other indigenous advocacy organizations during the creation of the film.
Depp was basically saying he was disappointed that people ‘jumped the gun’ and rushed to judgement.
“It’s a pity that people jumped the gun and made these objections,” Depp said of the project last week, adding, “However, their objections are their objections.”
The actor also said that the idea for the film was “pure.”
“I can assure you that no one has any reason to go out to try to exploit,” he told the Hollywood Reporter.
People on social media weren’t having any of the blatant disregard for the opinions from people of color.
This is 100% truth. All too often when white people do something that offends they claim that their ‘intent’ wasn’t to harm anyone. That may be very well the truth but but their actions still caused harm and they need to own up to it.
One Twitter user pointed out how frustrating it is that white folks often write off the harm they caused saying it wasn’t their ‘intent.’
Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way.
Others wanted to remind Depp that he and others don’t get to decide when Indigenous people get to be offended by something.
Far too often, white people try and tell minorities when, where, and why they’re allowed to be offended. This needs to stop.
While at least one Twitter user pointed out the gross use of the word ‘Sauvage’ in a campaign meant to honor Native Americans.
The campaign that was meant to honor Native American culture was for a cologne by Dior called ‘Sauvage’ – French for savage. Now, for hundreds of years the word savage has been used as a slur to separate people of Indigenous descent from white Westerners – to depict them as animalistic and less than human.
Given the words hurtful history, it was surprising that Dior would use this particular cologne as a tool to supposedly shine light on Native American culture in a positive light.