Actor Johnny Depp has spoken out against the outrage sparked by Dior's latest ad for perfume Sauvage.
The advertisement stirred up controversy for many people after its release, with critics calling the video nothing more than cultural appropriation. The ad, which features Depp and a Native American dancer, was also criticized for the exploitation of indigenous cultures.
The design house initially released the ad on social media, with a caption that read, "An authentic journey deep into the Native American soul in a sacred, founding and secular territory."
After much outcry, Dior pulled the advertisement and issued a statement of apology. The statement read:
As we began to evoke Native American imagery and symbols in this new film, the House of Dior, Jean-Baptiste Mondino and Johnny Depp immediately decided to contact Native American consultants who are enrolled citizens of the Comanche, Isleta and Taos Pueblos and the Pawnee Nation, with years of experience fighting cultural appropriation and promoting authentic inclusion. This collaboration, which started at the very beginning of the project, led to a work process that was extremely demanding and specific. On-going communication about the project, and then on the film set, had a shared aim: moving away from clichés in order to avoid the cultural appropriation and subversion that so often taints images representing Native peoples.
So what did Depp say about all this?
The long-time actor expressed his disappointment with the reaction to the ad during a recent film festival, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"There was never — and how could there be or how would there be — any dishonorable [intent]," Depp said. "The [short] film was made with a great respect for the indigenous people not just of North America but all over the world. It's a pity that people jumped the gun and made these objections. However, their objections are their objections."
Depp also pointed out that the project's creative team worked side by side with Comanche Nation as well as other indigenous advocacy groups to stay true to the concept during the film's creation.
"I can assure you that no one has any reason to go out to try to exploit," he insisted. "It was a film made out of great respect and with great respect and love for the Native American peoples to bring light to them. They haven't had the greatest amount of help out of the United States government. The idea is as pure as it ever was, so we will come to an agreement so that everyone is happy."
Dior SAUVAGE | The New Parfum (2019) www.youtube.com