Dolce & Gabbana canceled a Shanghai fashion show hours before it was scheduled after an outcry over promotional videos that many people complained were racist.
“For the moment, please consider this event as suspended until further notice from Dolce&Gabbana,” the Italian luxury label said in an email to HuffPost on Friday. The company said on Instagram it had “nothing but respect for China and the people of China,” and attributed some of the controversy to a hacked Instagram account.
Dolce & Gabbana angered Chinese authorities, celebrities and others this week with videos posted on social media featuring an Asian model attempting to eat various Italian foods with chopsticks.
The videos, meant to promote what the company called “The Great Show,” are narrated by a male voice who tells the model things like, “don’t use the chopsticks as knives” and “just use your chopsticks like pliers,” according to CNN. The narrator also seemingly mispronounces the brand’s name, which some reportedly interpreted as mocking the Chinese.
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As @dolcegabbana prepares to mount their next runway show in Shanghai this coming evening (7:30PM) and the rest of Instagram fawns over what’s sure to be an overly lavish “love letter” to China, we’ll be wondering if we’ll see chopsticks as hair ornaments, take-out boxes as purses, or even kimonos misappropriated as Chinese costume. Time will tell. For now, we’ll let y’all simmer on this DM between Stefano and Dieter @michaelatranova (chronology is reversed in slides). Word has it that they’re still in the process of model casting (over 200 Asian girls scheduled)…wouldn’t let them walk the show if we were their agents lol. Also, curious what the Chinese government will think of their country being called shit basically…especially considering how strict they are on who to allow to enter the country on work visas based on a thorough social media background checks. • #DGTheGreatShow #DGlovesChina #runway #fashionshow #cancelled #racism #dolceandgabbana #altamoda #rtw #dgmillennials #stefanogabbana #shanghai #chinese #china #wtf #dumb #lame #asianmodel #asian #dietprada
Gabbana later wrote on Instagram that his account had been hacked.
Dolce & Gabbana posted a statement echoing Gabbana’s hacking claim and apologizing for “any distress caused by these unauthorized posts.” The company later posted a second statement lamenting “what happened today” as “very unfortunate.”
“Our dream was to bring Shanghai a tribute event dedicated to China which tells our history and vision,” it said. “It was not simply a fashion show, but something that we created especially with love and passion for China and all the people around the world who loves Dolce & Gabbana.”
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Diet Prada reported that 24 models from the China Bently Modeling Agency refused to attend the planned show. Business of Fashion reported a number of Chinese celebrities, including Zhang Ziyi, Li Bingbing, Chen Kun and Wang Xiaoming, also opted out.
This isn’t the first time Dolce & Gabbana has courted controversy. Gabbana, in particular, found himself in hot water this year, when he criticized Selena Gomez’s looks, drawing anger from plenty of the singer’s fans (including Miley Cyrus).