Culture

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.

Spain Has Colonized The 2019 Latin Grammys And Latino Twitter Has Some Serious Thoughts

Entertainment

Spain Has Colonized The 2019 Latin Grammys And Latino Twitter Has Some Serious Thoughts

The Latin Recording Academy continued to dismiss valid criticism from the Latinx community by nominating Spanish artists Alejandro Sanz and Rosalia. The two European artists received the most nominations, in the most prestigious categories of the bunch, while urbano artists were shut out our relegated to niche categories. 

“The Latin Recording Academy is privileged to see so many talented and diverse artists join the milestone 20th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards season,” writes Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President and CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. 

“Since our inception, our international membership continues to be our driving force in the pursuit of excellence. Whether they are a sound engineer, a performer, a songwriter, or a music arranger — regardless of their gender, age, national identity, or musical genre — the nominees are the product of a voting process where every vote counts. Latin music continues to grow internationally and we’re excited to celebrate the music that unites us all.”

Justifying whitewashing by calling it diversity is really something.

Rosalia and Alejandro Sanz: the conquistadors of music.

Two white Europeans from Spain, Alejandro Sanz and Rosalia, have swept the Latin Grammys. Sanz received the most nominations of anyone with eight nods, while Rosalia received five. 

Sans was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Pop Album for #ELDISCO. He and Rosalia were both nominated for Song and Record of the Year. Many artists and actual Latinxs are fuming.

What makes these artists Latinx other than that they descended from the folks that colonized the Americas, raped and ethnically cleansed indigenous people, initiated that Trans-Atlantic Slave route, created the casta system, then subjugated the resulting multi-ethnic communities they denied self-determination from for centuries? That is a rhetorical question. 

This is like white people saying they’re African American because both groups speak English and share some cultural elements while ignoring why that cultural diffusion occurred (slavery and oppression). 

Rosalia feels 100 percent Latina

Earlier this year, Billboard featured Rosalia in their “Growing Up Latino” series where she says she feels a hundred percent Latina and that she is at home visiting countries like Panama and Mexico. Except Rosalia is from Barcelona. 

This is cultural appropriation: a member of the dominant culture (Spain) is stealing elements of the oppressed culture for profit. In this case, it is her use of Colombian rhythms, guajira, and rumba — which no one was even really upset about until Rosalia began identifying as Latina. The United States census would not identify Rosalia as anything but white or European so why should Latinxs? 

Rosalia says she is representing her culture

Rosalia courted controversy by stepping into Latinx spaces again when she won a Best Latin VMA this year. She further alienated Latinxs by accepting the award but also saying she was representing her culture when the reality is she is appropriating ours. 

“I come from Barcelona. I’m so happy to be here representing where I come from, and representing my culture,” she said in her speech.  

Artists call out the conquistadors 

Artists like Nicky Jam, Karol G, and J Balvin have posted a photo reading “Sin reggaeton, no hay Latin Grammy,” to call out the nominations and disregard for reggaeton and urbano artists. Artists like Bad Bunny, Ozuna, Daddy Yankee, Sech and De La Ghetto received nominations but they are standing in solidarity with real Latinxs. 

“Despite being nominated, I don’t agree with the way they treated the genre and a lot of my colleagues. Remember one very important thing: Their platform was not the one that created this movement. This goes beyond a prize. This is culture, credibility, relevance, and RESPECT,” Daddy Yankee wrote on Instagram. 

Maluma was also upset that he did not receive a single Latin Grammy nomination for this album 11:11.  

Credit: nickyjampr / Instagram

“It is a disappointment to not even have one Latin Grammys nomination. So much effort, the best album I’ve ever made in my LIFE,” Maluma said. 

The Latin Grammys now must justify why they have excluded real Latinxs while including white Europeans. Urbano music is basically some of the most popular on the entire planet, artists like Bad Bunny, Ozuna, and J Balvin have had explosive chart numbers and broken world records yet they were relegated to Urban categories. 

This is not unusual in the Grammys either — Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar have both had culturally monumental albums snubbed from major categories. It is clear Grammy voters have their own caste system where white people deserve the highest recognition. One where black and brown people are consistently sent the message they should “stay in their lane” and that their music cannot speak to universal themes (despite the numbers indicating otherwise). 

If Macklemore can win Best Rap Album, then, of course, they will justify Spanish artists winning Latin Grammys. This is what colonizers do. 

Mexican Food Is Enjoyed Around The World But Not Much Of It Is Authentic As These Epic Food Fails Prove

Culture

Mexican Food Is Enjoyed Around The World But Not Much Of It Is Authentic As These Epic Food Fails Prove

MyRecipes.com

Ah, poor Mexican food. It often falls in las garras of unscrupulous gringos that wish to make the authentic thing, the real deal, but often end up coming up with dishes that make us go no mames instead of yummy. On other occasions these restaurants, people and brands just do a blatant and half-assed attempt to use some Mexican ingredients (or Tex-Mex!) and call that authentic Mexican. 

Here’s some of the most horrible but hilariously wrong attempts to recreate one of the most complex cuisines in the world, which has been recognized by the UNESCO as world heritage, as Herald Sun reported recently: “Mexican food is one of the more nuanced cuisines of the world. It’s also one of only two national cuisines to have been listed by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The other is French gastronomy”. So whenever someone damages the reputation of Mexican food, they are in fact conspiring against humanity as a whole! 

Oven fresh burritos = frozen atrocities.

Credit: Instagram. @tysonmitman

No disrespect to our British friends, but food is not their strongest suit. This atrocious sign is trying to hide the fact that perhaps the burritos they are selling come out of a freezer and probably have that plastic aftertaste so familiar for those who survive on microwave food. No, gracias. 

This hipster monstrosity that gives pumpkin a bad name.

Credit: Instagram. @bigblack1911

OMG! What on Earth is this? We have enough with pumpkin latte season for hipster companies to appropriate our venerable tortilla chip and turn it into this Thanksgiving nightmare. Seriously, dudes, pumpkin tortillas sound just kind of OKish, but adding cinnamon and nutmeg. Gua-ca-la. 

This bad translation, un poquito de esfuerzo mijos!

Credit: Instagram. @roymeyer

What do they take us for? Really, can’t you just do a better job and simply say “slow cooked pork meat” rather than “little meats”? You are not doing a very good job at selling your product, bro. 

We feel for this person whose burrito will just collapse.

Credit: Twitter. @cocoterito

Oh, my! Multiculturalism certainly brings joyful moments of pena ajena. Twitter user Susanita just witnessed her coworker commit the ultimate crime: eating a cold tortilla that will taste like cardboard and that will just crumble before the first bite. 

We can’t even… Seriously, ranch dressing as a hot sauce?

Credit: Instagram. @ArielleMartin

Seriously, who can even consider Ranch or Sriracha to be Mexican condiments? Well, to be honest Sriracha is kind of fine, but ranch dressing? Puaj. 

Crackers as salsa dipping snacks… what fresh hell is this?

Credit: Twitter. @LauraSievert

We can live with stale tortilla chips if the salsa is acceptable… but…. really… crackers? This is just an insult to overall good taste! 

No beans, no life, manitos.

Credit: Instagram. @mrshappyhomemaker

Come on, how can you call yourself a Mexican restaurant and have no refried beans! To see this is levantarse con el pie izquierdo. 

This San Antonio joint that gave Mex food a bad name (and possibly gave gastro to a few customers)

Earlier this year food inspectors shut down a Mexican restaurant in San Antonio, as News4SA reports: “After finding dead roaches and dirty appliances, a traditional Mexican restaurant here in San Antonio fails its latest health inspection. Maria’s Cafe located off Nogalitos Street just south of downtown scored a 62, a failing score”. We can only say “Qué pinche asco“.

A frozen tamale with cheese? Nah! There’s limits that should never be crossed.

We thank the attempts to take Mexican cuisine to the supermarket aisle… but, and this is a big “but”, you gotta do it right. This bad attempt at authenticity is self-incriminatory in its official description: ” Amy’s Cheese Tamale Verde starts with corn masa made from organic white corn and blended with Monterey Jack Cheese, chiles and jalapeños. Then, it is topped off with our slow-simmered verde sauce and served with a side of Spanish rice and organic black beans”. Who on Earth blends masa with cheese? No one!

Please, just stop it with the cheese tamales!

And of course, these ones are presented over a bed of sweet corn… Very authentic…. NOT! This can really work if you want to get on a diet: we are guessing you won’t take a second bite. Well done, Lean Cuisine! 

This overpriced restaurant that doesn’t look like a fonda at all!

Credit: Photo by the author

Fonda Mexican is an Australian chain that claims to make authentic food from South of the Border. Problem is, it ends up being a weird fusion joint that pretends to be authentic. We would be OK with it if it wasn’t so damn pretentious! 

The place tries to look like a traditional family restaurant but ends up being un adefesio.

Credit: Photo by the author

The decor tries to imitate the look and feel of a traditional fonda, but it fails horribly. It all tastes like cultural appropriation, quite frankly. 

And just look at the price of those tacos! 

What? Chimichurri (which is Argentinian) on a taco? And aioli? And pepitas? Give us a break and stop gentrifying everything! 

This banana buñuelo in Tokyo that is just a deep fried tortilla.

At least we appreciate the honesty. Buñuelos are a tradition of Mexican street food. It is a huge sheet of deep fried pastry that is just crunchy and sweet and delicious. We are sure your abuelitas remember eating them after mass on Sundays, as buñuelos vendors usually congregate around churches. Well, the Chiles Mexican Grill in Tokyo serves this blasphemy: a deep fried tortilla with banana and walnut inside. Herejes

The Pancho Villa restaurant in Moscow is just otra cosa.

Credit: Google Maps. @Lora Versus

Reading through the menu of the Pancho Villa restaurant in Moscow is like witnessing a car crash. The squid salad is described as follows: “Squid from the grill, fresh veggies, Mariachi, fried corn  and a dressing of chipotle and mayo”. What do they mean by “Mariachi”? We hope this doesn’t involve some sort of cannibalistic practice!

And does this sound Mexican at all? “Ensalada de Pato. Juicy duck breast with lettuce, corn, pear and cherry tomatoes with a creamy honey dressing”. Damn, it does sound OKish but not Mexican like at all. And what about this atrocity? “Ensalada Yucateca. A traditional Mexican salad: fried ground beef, iceberg lettuce, corn, avocado, lime dressing and pico de gallo”. Really?  That just looks like nachos minus the tortilla chips! We mean, would you eat the weird looking thing in the picture? And who puts jalapeños and black olives together anyways? 

And the one we hate most of all: the abominable taco salad! 

This particular salad comes from the Habaneros Mexican Grill in Edmonton, Canada. This has NOTHING Mexican about it. It is just an overprices Taco Bell-like Tex-Mex… thing. 

We are probably being too harsh on the humble taco salad, but we have had nightmares since POTUS celebrated 5 de Mayo by eating one…

Credit: Giphy. Anonymous. 

We are so sorry for el susto.