The campaign for the new Dior fragrance ‘Sauvage’, featuring actor Johnny Depp, has been tagged as offensive, racist and culturally inappropriate.
Teasers for the ad, which was supposed to be released in the form of a short film, were posted to Dior’s social media accounts but deleted within hours following criticism.
In the ad, Depp could be seen playing guitar riffs against the Arches National Monument in Utah while Rose Sioux tribe member Canku Thomas One Star performed a traditional dance.
Critics took issue with the name of the fragrance as ‘sauvage’ is French for wild and violent, the latter being a racial slur used to describe Native people throughout North American history.
Following the reaction, The House of Dior deleted all posts referencing Native Americans from its social media and a spokesperson told Dazed, “The House of Dior wishes to address the strong reaction to the trailer of the new campaign of the Sauvage fragrance featuring a Native American artist performing a traditional Fancy dance. The campaign was inspired by the deep and rich Native American culture which the House of Dior holds in the highest regard”.
They further added, “To ensure accuracy and inclusion the House of Dior works closely with Native American consultants, artists, writers, and dancers as well as the Americans for Indian Opportunity. The House of Dior has a long-standing commitment against racism or any kind of discrimination and will continue to work with and proudly support organizations which fight against those burdens.”