Dolce & Gabbana is in hot water over ads in China that some have called racist.
According to the Guardian, the designer label has cancelled an upcoming catwalk show in Shanghai after a series of videos posted to its Instagram feed were called out as racially insensitive.
The company addressed the controversy and the show’s cancellation on Twitter Wednesday morning, writing in their statement, “What happened today was very unfortunate not only for us, but for all the people who worked day and night to bring this event to life.”
They then issued another apology as they spoke directly to the camera in a video addressed to their Chinese fans.
According to WWD, Gabbana said: “We would like to apologize to all the Chinese around the world because there are many, and we take this apology and this message very seriously.”
Dolce added: “We have always been very much in love with China and we always visited this country and many cities many times and we love your culture. Surely, we have many things to learn and for this reason we apologize if we made mistakes in expressing ourselves.”
The videos, titled “Eating with Chopsticks” featured a Chinese model attempting to eat various Italian foods, including pizza, cannoli, and spaghetti, with chopsticks.
The videos sparked outrage from many on social media over the depiction of Chinese people.
Following that controversy, several people shared screenshots of alleged direct-message conversations with Stefano Gabbana about the issue, including one where the designer apparently defended the videos and said highly derogatory things about Chinese people, including calling them “ignorant dirty smelling mafia.”
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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
Hours later Dolce & Gabbana explained that Gabbana’s account had been hacked and apologized for the “unauthorized posts, comments and direct messages.”
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Our Instagram account has been hacked. So has the account of Stefano Gabbana. Our legal office is urgently investigating. We are very sorry for any distress caused by these unauthorized posts, comments and direct messages. We have nothing but respect for China and the people of China. Dolce & Gabbana 的官方Intragram 账号和 Stefano Gabbana 的 Instagram 账号被盗，我们已经立即通过法律途径解决。我们为这些不实言论给中国和中国人民造成的影响和伤害道歉。我们对中国和中国文化始终一贯的热爱与尊重。
Despite the hacking claims, reports The Guardian, D&G merchandise quickly vanished from numerous Chinese retail websites as the backlash grew stronger.
According to The Guardian, Chinese online retailers Kaola, Secoo and Yoox Net-A-Porter all confirmed they were no longer listing Dolce & Gabbana products on their sites, while an investigation by Reuters revealed that searchers for D&G items on Alibaba and JD.com came up with no search results.