“The GREAT SHOW is postponed to a later date for certain reasons. We apologize for the inconvenience, “said the company on the Chinese social network Weibo just hours before it was set to begin after several models and celebrities vowed to boycott the event over calls of racism.
The controversy erupted after Dolce & Gabbana’s Instagram account posted a series of promotional videos featuring a woman with Asian features eating Italian staples – including pizza, a cannoli and spaghetti – with chopsticks under the direction of a male voice.
These videos have been deemed degrading and mocking of the Chinese culture by Internet users.
The case worsened after the internet broadcast of screenshots of an Instagram discussion between a user and the brand’s star designer, Stefano Gabbana, where the latter uses emojis to treat China by a “shitty country”. Facing the backlash, the company assured that Mr. Gabbana’s account had been hacked denying that he wrote the messages.
“We are sorry for the upheavals caused by these unauthorized publications. We have only respect for China and the Chinese people, “the company wrote on Twitter.
Also the original Dolce & Gabbana ads—featuring Chinese models struggling to eat Italian dishes with chopsticks—WERE racist and incredibly condescending. In one a model tries to pick up a cannoli with chopsticks and the voiceover says, “Too huge for you?”https://t.co/Dciuv8wmIS
— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) November 21, 2018
This is one of the most misinformed and distasteful marketing campaigns I have seen in quite some time. Please consider pulling these videos from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. (Image: open letter from UC Berkeley student Coco Qiu via https://t.co/gPdSGQdLUX). pic.twitter.com/MrUQa9tZ20
— Luming Yin (@lumingyin) November 19, 2018