Dolce & Gabbana is in hot soup.
D&G published three promotional clips Chinese internet users found racist to its social media accounts including China's Twitter-like service Weibo this week to help promote the Great Show, originally slated for Nov. 21 in Shanghai.
The videos showed an Asian woman struggling with Italian cuisine including a pizza, cannoli and pasta and using the chopsticks in a "strange way." The narrator also pronounced "Dolce & Gabbana" in a Chinese accent and called the chopsticks "stick-shaped cutlery." Weibo users criticised the video for mocking Chinese people.
The clips were quickly removed from Weibo after they sparked anger but remained on Instagram where internet users continued to criticize the company. The posts are no longer available on D&G's Instagram account as of now, but one user posted it online along with English subtitles:
The matter was exacerbated when screencaps emerged and circulated the internet showing a conversation between co-founder Stefano Gabbana and fashion writer Michaela Phuong where the former allegedly insulted China as "the country of [poop emojis]." This irked the internet further and local celebrities pulled out of the show.
Gabbana and the company denied it was him who sent the derogatory comments in an apology posted to social media accounts, saying he was hacked.
The apology did little to quell the anger online. In the comments, few people believe it was a cybersecurity issue. Chinese shopping platforms have also removed D&G listings from their websites.
First published Nov. 21, 3:42 a.m. PT.
Update, Nov. 22 at 7:46 p.m. PT: Adds that the clips are no longer on D&G's Instagram account and clarified that local celebrities pulled out of the Great Show following alleged racist comments by Gabbana.
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