Dior’s Racist Native American Men’s Fragrance Campaign

Dior racist ad featuring Native Americans and once again Johnny Depp has now been added onto the high-end companies list that people want to boycott. Late evening on August 30 Dior dropped their new ad for the men’s fragrance called “Sauvage.” The ad starts out with Johnny Depp exploring Canyonlands National Park and spots an electric guitar. He begins playing “Rumble” which was written by Shawnee musician Link Wray. The ad also featured Canku One Star, an actor and member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, performing a Fancy War dance wearing traditional regalia and Tanaya Beatty, a Canadian actress of Da’Naxda’xw Nation descent.

Dior and Johnny wanted the ad to be authentic and show the respect of Native Americans. Dior’s respect and inclusion of the Native Americans symbols and elements led to the authorization of a Ute tribe medicine man performing a traditional blessing before filming, as well as a donation to the Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO).

Yahoo reported the press release which states, “This collaboration, which started at the very beginning of the project, led to a work process that was extremely demanding and specific,” a press release for the film read. “On-going communication about the project, and then on the film set, had a shared aim: moving away from clichés to avoid the cultural appropriation and subversion that so often taints images representing Native peoples.”

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Dior’s campaign went wrong when they called their fragrance “Sauvage.” When you translate it from French, the word has many meanings like wild, untamed, and savage. Using Native Americans to promote their fragrance “Sauvage” which when translated means such horrific words is racist indeed. People are angry at this ad, but the AIO and Johnny Depp worked closely together to make sure the culture was created with respect. “There was a need for authenticity and respect for the land and the nations that allowed us to shoot there,” Depp said in a statement. “From the choice of location, wardrobe making, right down to casting and set design, AIO was involved.”

AIO hopes to bring awareness to Native Americans. “We have something to offer. Our values and philosophies provide an alternative to EuroAmerican systems, another way [to] address challenges and create opportunities,” Harris said. “But, people have to be able to hear us.”

Some people’s reaction to the ad is anything but happy.

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