Dolce & Gabbana Publicly Apologize for Their Recent Racist Ad Campaign
Co-founders of the Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana, Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce, aren't new to controversy, however, they are unfamiliar with the concept of an apology. That's why it came as somewhat of a shock when the designer duo released a video on Friday morning, muttering the words "Dubi bu qui," which is the Mandarin phrase for "sorry."
Just what firestorm are they attempting to extinguish this time around? ICYMI, the brand's latest ad campaign featured a Chinese model attempting (and failing) to eat signature Italian dishes with chopsticks. A narrator instructs the woman on how to use chopsticks properly while also mispronouncing Dolce & Gabbana's name — perhaps as a way to mock how Chinese people pronounce foreign words.
Following the racist videos, which went viral on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, powerful retailers and celebrities pulled their support for the brand. Department store Lane Crawford took Dolce & Gabbana's products off the shelves, while the brand's Shanghai fashion show was canceled after models canceled their catwalk appearances and fashion VIPs gave up their front row seats.
After the unforeseen setback for the designers, they removed the videos from Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook — replacing them with a new clip of the pair apologizing for their actions.
"We thought a lot over the past few days and with much regret about what has happened to us and for what we have caused in your country and we deeply apologize," begins Dolce. "Our families always taught us to show respect for all different cultures around the world and for this we are sorry if we made mistakes in interpreting yours.”
Gabbana adds: “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.”
“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," explains Dolce. "Surely, we have many things to learn and for this reason we apologize if we made mistakes in expressing ourselves.”
Gabbana pleads for the community's forgiveness, revealing that the controversy certainly taught himself and Dolce a lesson. "We will certainly not forget this experience and surely this kind of thing will never happen again, actually we will try to do better and we will respect the Chinese culture in every way," he says.
"From the bottom of our hearts, we ask for your forgiveness,” continues Gabbana, before they both say, "Dubi bu qi." ["Sorry" in Mandarin]
Is it too little, too late?