Home / Entertainment / Dior's 'Sauvage' advertisement starring Johnny Depp criticized for using Native American imagery

Dior's 'Sauvage' advertisement starring Johnny Depp criticized for using Native American imagery

(YouTube / Dior)

The ad appeared to be something that probably would not be approved in The turbulent era of race and social media in which we live.

However, it was appropriate to sell a new perfume on the Twitter feed of French luxury fashion company Christian Dior.

"An authentic journey deep into the natives of the American soul in a sacred, grounding and secular territory," it said. "There will be more."

The text was combined with the image of a Native American woman dancing on a Western bluff as the sun set behind him. The name of the perfume? Sauvage or Savage in English, a racial stereotype with a long tradition of use against Indians, including advertising. The advertising sparked a rapid response in social media, and many accused the company of using an insensitive Native American portrayal to sell their goods. The perfume's description, a classic Dior scent that has been reworked, says that it "radiates warm Oriental tones and wild beauty that brings to life on the skin".

"The fragrance of a new frontier: an interpretation with a rich" It is an arrogant appropriation of images that is unimaginative, "said Hanay Geiogamah, a UCLA professor, playwright and historian who is a member of the Kiowa tribe said the Washington Post. "What offends me is that they so casually use such images and mix them together for their own purposes."

Geiogamah noted that "Savage" is one of the original forms used against Indians.

"This is more insulting than anything else," he said, "drawing attention to the ongoing reality that the domestic and international advertising industry still believes it can acquire Native American imagery if it does so Here they do it in a very shiny way, but it goes completely wrong. "

The perfume was also featured in a one-minute commercial on YouTube featuring actor Johnny Depp playing guitar and dancer as and a three-minute video

"This particular short film is really a love letter," says Depp in this video, "It's almost as if you could hear the land, there's something there, that's to you

These videos were also captured by the company on Friday night.

Hanley Frost, 59, coordinator of cultural education of the Southern Ute tribe in Colorado, blessed the country for the film crew and was filmed in a traditional outfit for one of the videos.

He said his cousin, a graduate of art school, had recommended him for production after a friend who works in the movie business had said a The Native American had to bless before filming.

] He drove to the Moab scrub, about three hours' drive from his home in Ignacio, Colorado, to bless the area for the crew without first being aware of the details of the production. He found out during the shoot that it was for the Christian Dior campaign with Depp. He also put on a formal outfit that he blessed and was filmed by the crew.

And he came back another day to teach the crew a bit about the history of his ancestors in the area. He said he was happy to share the story of his people and to bless the country before filming. Finally, they asked him what he wanted to pay for the work. He asked for $ 1,000, he said.

He said that neither the name of the perfume nor the use of Indians in the campaign bothered him ,

"For me, one only has to understand that these incidents and remarks will continue. It will never disappear. No matter how many people complain, "he said, noting sports teams like the Washington Redskins who used Native American imagery. "I know some indigenous tribes, they say they called us that to educate the natives, but you know that's in the past."

For the ad, Dior worked with Americans for Indian Opportunity, an Indian-based advocacy organization whose president Depp, who has long been claiming he was a Native American, added to her family when he remakes the indigenous character Tonto in Disney's "The Lone Ranger" played. (The account was controversial.) John Wauqua, certified dork as an honorary citizen of the Comanche Nation, but his affiliation and ethnic claims have been heavily criticized by Native American scholars like Geiogamah of the @Dior #Sauvage ad w / Johnny Depp:
• Allegedly against appropriation, but goes deep into appropriation.
• Titles the actress as a virgin and the local actor warrio r.
• Says it helps indigenous people, but provokes stupid / ignorant "Indian" tropics.

– Dallas Goldtooth (@dallasgoldtooth) August 30, 2019

Laura Harris, Executive Director of AIO, told The Post that her organization is proud of her work with Dior.

] "The Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO) goal of holding consultations on media productions is to involve paid Native American staff, artists, actors, writers, etc., educate production teams on contemporary indigenous realities and the world Creating allies for Indigenous Peoples, "she wrote to The Post. "AIO does not speak for all Native Americans. We are proud to have perfected Christian Dior's education and inclusion goals for this project. "

The concern for cultural appropriation is at the forefront of the fashion world through edgy or exotic themes has led to numerous controversies over the years. These include: white models with turbans for Gucci, a fashion shoot for Vogue, in which model Karlie Kloss dressed as a geisha, and designer Marc Jacobs, who dresses his models in a dreadlocks in 2016 for a fashion week show.

Dior has been at the center of some of this controversy, including a clothing line heavily influenced by Native American culture in 2012.

The head designer of the fashion house, John Galliano, was released in 2011 on charges of anti-Semitic and racist comments captured on video ,

Adrienne Keene, an Indian writer, podcast presenter and professor, said it was a mistaken dichotomy for Indians to choose between poor media portrayals or no portrayals.

Sauvage & # 39; s on some & # 39; we are the country's BS is not surprising, but as always I find it deeply disturbing when brands force native people to choose between stereotypes and misrepresentation or total invisibility, "she wrote on Twitter . "It feels like they've been trying to get it right and involved some great people – but it's still an ad for a notoriously racist company and a product called & # 39; Savage & # 39 ;."

In a statement, Dior promotes his work with AIO.

"The Parfum Christian Dior Project is part of the Advance Indigeneity Campaign of the AIO to change the misconceptions about Indians, share accurate American history, strengthen awareness of Indians as contemporary peoples, and promote indigenous beliefs," said Dior.

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