D&G founders in mea culpa, pub­lic skep­ti­cal

Global Times - Weekend - - NATION -

Ital­ian fash­ion house Dolce and Gab­bana (D&G) apol­o­gized Fri­day via all its so­cial me­dia ac­counts af­ter the brand faced a large-scale back­lash in China over ac­cu­sa­tions of racism in pro­mo­tional ma­te­ri­als ahead of a fash­ion show in Shang­hai.

“We of­fer our sin­cer­est apolo­gies to Chi­nese peo­ple world­wide… We hope our mis­un­der­stand­ing of Chi­nese cul­ture can be for­given,” the two founders of the brand, Ste­fano Gab­bana and Domenico Dolce said in a video posted on so­cial me­dia with Chi­nese and English sub­ti­tles.

The apol­ogy video was first up­loaded on its Weibo ac­count and it was re­leased on its of­fi­cial Twit­ter, In­sta­gram and Face­book ac­counts about three hours later.

Dolce said: “We’ve al­ways been very crazy about China, we’ve vis­ited it a lot. We’ve been to many cities. We love your cul­ture.” The pair said the sin­gle word “sorry” in Chi­nese at the end of the video.

The in­ci­dent stems from a pro­mo­tional cam­paign called “Eat­ing with Chop­sticks” in which a woman eats Ital­ian food with chop­sticks. How­ever, the sub­ti­tle de­scribed chop­sticks as “stick-shaped cut­lery.”

Ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey con­ducted by the Global Times Global Poll Cen­ter on Fri­day, over half of in­ter­vie­wees said the advert was “de­lib­er­ate cul­tural dis­tor­tion” and about 31 per­cent thought it rep­re­sented D&G’s “cul­tural su­pe­ri­or­ity.”

Of the more than 9,000 re­spon­dents, over 90 per­cent did not think Chi­nese neti- zens’ re­ac­tion over the in­ci­dent was rad­i­cal.

On Wed­nes­day, in an In­sta­gram chat con­ver­sa­tion leaked on­line, Gab­bana had al­legedly said “the coun­try of shit is China” and “China Ig­no­rant Dirty Smelling Mafia.” Af­ter Chi­nese celebri­ties with­drew from the run­way show that was sched­uled in Shang­hai on Wed­nes­day, Gab­bana claimed his ac­count had been hacked.

How­ever, the sur­vey showed that 93.6 per­cent of in­ter­vie­wees did not ac­cept his ex­cuse at all and said it was a “coverup.”

More than 98 per­cent agreed that the rep­u­ta­tion of a brand not only rep­re­sents their moral­ity and phi­los­o­phy, but also their re­spect to­ward cross­cul­tural is­sues.

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