Johnny Depp, the face of Dior's ad campaign for a $150 cologne called “Sauvage,” is being accused of “racism” and “cultural appropriation” against Native Americans.
Early Friday night, the French luxury giant started wiping “We are the Land” teaser videos of the “authentic journey deep into the Native American soul,” which was set for release Sept. 1 from Twitter and Instagram after widespread backlash online.
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Depp, who has been repping Sauvage since 2015, is the voice in the video that shows a woman wearing a wolf skin and a man dressed in traditional Native American dancing in the desert, but beyond the imagery, many were upset by the language used by the campaign.
“‘Sauvage’ is the word the racist mobs were screaming when they stoned Mohawk civilians during the Oka crisis,” one user tweeted.
The company sent a press release from Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO) when FOX Business reached out for comment but refused to comment on the outrage surrounding the ad.
“There was need for authenticity and respect for the land and the nations that allowed us to shoot there,” Depp said in the report from AIO, a group that says it advocates for the rights of Indigenous people. “From the choice of location, wardrobe making, right down to casting and set design, AIO was involved.”
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It also pointed to Depp being adopted into the Comanche Nation before he played Tonto in 2013's reboot of The Lone Ranger, which a Native American activist took issue with, saying: “He’s not Native, he’s not a friend to Indian Country. Dior has also been on the appropriation train since forever.”
Despite Dior taking down the video, many online came to his defense, pointing to his heritage
But many online came to his defense and called the backlash outrageous.
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“The only way this Dior campaign could be worse is if Elizabeth Warren had a cameo,” Bridget Phetasy joked in a tweet, adding that Dior failed “to cash in on Woke capitalism.”