On November 18th, 2018, Dolce and Gabbana posted a video on the Chinese social media platform, Weibo with the hashtags #DGLovesChina and #DGTheGreatShow, in an attempt to promote their fashion show “DG The Great Show” in China. The video also aimed to reach out to Chinese consumers as an initiative to secure sales and also pay tribute to the beautiful country.
Their attempts though where all for naught, as the video is considered highly racist, the video depicts an Asian woman dressed in a red sequence DG dress attempting to eat Italian food, like pizza, pasta and a rather large cannoli with chopsticks. There was also a very suggestive line said when she’s trying to eat the cannoli when the narrator(male) is heard saying “is it too huge for you?” this of course came across crass because of the tone in which the line was delivered.
The video also had racist undertones in the way the model was directed to act, the background was messy and strewn with lanterns and other Chinese cultural symbols. People who viewed the clip also stated that they found it offensive, stereotypical and disrespectful to Asian women and Asians in general.
“DG The Great Show” which was supposed to take place on November 21st 2018 was canceled by Chinese authorities following the uproar, though this is yet to be confirmed or denied. This isn’t the first time that DG has faced such allegations of being racist, their Beijing campaign in 2017 was also a source of scandal in the year passed.
Though social media has brought about a ton of awareness and has become an essential tool for any business to have. There is also a flipside, as people become more aware and active on social media, creators need to keep in mind people’s sensitivities. Some would argue that people have become too sensitive to everything, while others would say that it isn’t about being sensitive, but rather people feeling more empowered to voice their opinion and speak up when they find something amiss.
Dolce and Gabbana is currently claiming they were hacked after screenshots were posted by Diet Prada that is an Instagram page that preys on fashion designers and their ‘faux paus’. The screenshots that were posted were of a conversation between Diet Prada and Stephano Gabbana. These screenshots show Stephano allegedly saying “China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia”. Diet Prada in its caption said, “DG loves china?, more like DG desperate for that Chinese RMB”. For those unaware like me, RMB is Renminbi which is the same as the Chinese Yuan. This clarity does make that caption even more scathing and humorous. It’s yet to be seen how Stephano Gabbana will try to clear his name for the comments passed while his account was “hacked.”