Dior Releases Insensitive Indigenous Fragrance Ad Featuring #MeToo Accused Johnny Deep Speaking For An Indigenous Dancer
Update: Dior announced over the weekend that it pulled its campaign for the fragrance Sauvage after complaints of racism.
We honestly thought Dior had learned its lesson. Less than a year after the Parisian brand released an insensitive cultural ad starring Jennifer Lawrence in which she wore Mexican-inspired fashions, the high-luxe company is at it again. Months ago, Dior was completely open about the fact that Dior’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri has a love affair with Mexican culture, and that’s totally okay, but why not celebrate Mexico by using Mexican models?
Now they’re doing it again, but it’s worse.
Dior released a new advertisement for their fragrance Sauvage, and the aesthetic is full-on Native American-themed.
The brand released the images and videos on social media, which shows Indigenous dancer, and member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe, Canku One Star. The imagery is stunning and vibrant. Canku One Star dances while wearing traditional Native American attire on top of the mountainous plain.
The problem with this is that people haven’t forgotten that Dior is a FRENCH brand ( a country that colonized the North Americas and excessively abused Indigenous people). Also, we haven’t forgotten that tiny part about what the brand did with the Mexican-inspired collection that featured zero Mexican models either.
The brand was already expecting the backlash clearly because, on their Instagram page, they were very particular about their wording.
“An authentic journey deep into the Native American soul in a sacred, founding and secular territory,” they stated on Instagram. “A film developed as a close collaboration between the House of Dior and Native American consultants from the 50-year old Indigenous advocacy organization, @americansforindianopportunity in order to respect Indigenous cultures, values and heritage.
Okay, so they had approval, but then it got worse.
The ad also features the one and only Johnny Depp.
Jean-Baptiste Mondino directs the film that shows Depp wearing his traditional “rock star” look that comes with a cowboy hat, walking around the Canyonlands, in Utah — home to the Utes and Apaches tribes. Depp isn’t alone in the ad because he is being spied on by a Native woman, played by model Tanaya Beatty.
Now, before you freak out, Beatty is actually of Native American descent as well. The Canadian model and actress is part of the Da’Naxda’xw Nation indigenous people of British Columbia, Esquire reports. Then Depp finds a guitar and because he is a musician begins to play portions of a song called “Rumble,” written by Link Wray, who is also a descent of Native American people.
Depp is celebrating Native American culture but just a reminder he is a white man from Kentucky. Even if he was adopted in his later age by a Native American woman.
Yes, Depp’s “adoptive” mother is indeed LaDonna Harris of the Comanche people. La Donna and her daughter, Laura Harris, are the president and executive director of the Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO) organization. They are the same group that was consulted for the ad. However. It is important to note that Depp became adopted as an honorary son by Harris in 2012. The same exact year, and during, his promotion of the controversial film The Lone Ranger, in which he was seen playing the part of an Indigenous person. What’s more, while Depp was adopted by Harris, he was never adopted into, and never became a member of any tribe.
People on social media didn’t seem to care about Depp’s connection to Native people, or that Dior got permission to use Native imagery.
They just want Dior to stop profiting off minority people. Sure, it’s nice Dior attempted to use proper consultations for this ad, their film, and their entire branding. However, is any of the money made from this product going back to Native people at all?
Of course, there had to have been at least one person of color saying stop, right?
Were they too afraid to speak up?
We haven’t even gotten to the fact that the name of the perfume is actually a derogatory word that Native people have often been described as.
Why didn’t the Native consultants say ‘maybe call it something else’?
Did Dior also forget that Depp was awful as a representative of Native people in “The Lone Ranger”?
There a ton of Native male models. We would have loved to have seen any of them.
But let’s see both sides for a second. They did incorporate a lot of authentic Native inclusiveness.
Dior did well with the consultants, and well with the female model and the Native dancer. It was just Depp. He ruined the entire thing. Oh, and the fact that we’re still wondering if Dior is giving a single dollar to Native causes from the earnings of this product. But what do we know? According to People magazine, the Comanche people said Depp is the “perfect embodiment of an intense Sauvage man,” and added that he is after all adopted by the Comanche community.
Watch the entire ad below and let us know what you think.
Update: Dior has deleted all images and video from their social media pages. Guess they learned their lesson.