Italian fashion powerhouse Dolce & Gabbana has been forced to cancel a long-awaited fashion show in China following an outcry over “racist” campaign videos from the brand.
Due to be held in Shanghai yesterday, the show was pulled following a slew of Chinese celebrities who were supposed to attend event publicly forgoing their invitations.
The controversial social media posts which sparked the outcry featured a Chinese model eating spaghetti, pizza and other Italian foods with chopsticks.
Welcome to Episode 1 with Dolce&Gabbana’s “Eating with Chopsticks”. First up today is how to use this stick shaped cutlery to eat your GREAT traditional Pizza Margherita. #DGLovesChina#DGTheGreatShow pic.twitter.com/62AAdbsGRT
— Dolce & Gabbana (@dolcegabbana) November 17, 2018
The content was deemed culturally offensive by many and criticism of the videos was quick.
Commenting on the clips, China’s Communist Youth League said: “Foreign companies operating in China should respect China and respect Chinese people.
While actor Talu Wang also tweeted on social media platform Weibo: “Respect is more important than anything.”
The situation was made worse when screenshots of an Instagram post from co-founder of Dolce & Gabbana Stefano Gabbana began circulating, where he had used poop emojis to reference China.
Responding to criticism of the videos and Gabbana’s Instagram post, the fashion brand said it was incredibly sorry for the clips and claimed the co-founder’s page had been hacked prior to the poop emoji post.
— Dolce & Gabbana (@dolcegabbana) November 21, 2018
“We are very sorry for any distress caused by these unauthorised posts. We have nothing but respect for China and the people of China,” the company said on Instagram.