Johnny Depp Dior

The French fashion house, Dior recently released a preview of its new Native American-inspired fragrance campaign for “Sauvage” featuring actor Johnny Depp and a Native American theme.

The brand captioned the brief clip: “An authentic journey deep into the Native American soul in a sacred, founding and secular territory.

“A film developed as a close collaboration between the House of Dior and Native American consultants from the 50-year-old Indigenous advocacy organization Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO) in order to respect Indigenous cultures, values, and heritage.”

A Native American dancer, who is himself a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota can be seen in ritual appearance that also includes a feathered headdress.

johnny depp dior ad

However, the representation and name of the cologne provoked many on social media to interpret the ad as racist and indicative of cultural appropriation.

A Canadian actor of First Nations descent follows Depp from a distance. Photograph: Dior


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I am inspired by the conversation happening in our community and beyond and want to participate in it #sauvagedior

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ur gurl’s on Microsoft word a lot these days…

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Reviewers say the word Sauvage can be decoded as “savage” in French – a belittling expression used to define Native American people.

Native American fancy war dancer Canku One Star
Native American fancy war dancer Canku One Star Credits: Dior

Following the reaction, The House of Dior deleted all posts referencing Native Americans from its social media and a spokesperson told Dazed:

The House of Dior wishes to address the strong reaction to the trailer of the new campaign of the Sauvage fragrance featuring a Native American artist performing a traditional Fancy dance.

The campaign was inspired by the deep and rich Native American culture which the House of Dior holds in the highest regard.

To ensure accuracy and inclusion the House of Dior works closely with Native American consultants, artists, writers, and dancers as well as the Americans for Indian Opportunity.

The House of Dior has a long-standing commitment against racism or any kind of discrimination and will continue to work with and proudly support organizations which fight against those burdens.

Well, this is not the first time the brand has been accused of cultural appropriation. Have a look at the social media reactions:

Watch the ad below:

What are your thoughts? Comment and let us know.

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