Dolce & Gabbana cancels show in China after a racial dispute

adminNovember 21, 2018




The controversy arose after Dolce & Gabbana published short clips on Instagram earlier this week that showed a woman eating pizza and spaghetti with chopsticks that some considered culturally insensitive.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. Image: www.dolcegabbana.com

BEIJING – Dolce & Gabbana canceled a planned fashion show in Shanghai on Wednesday after a protest by racially offensive publications on its social media accounts, a setback for the company in the world's top luxury market.

The Italian fashion house quickly issued a statement apologizing and saying that the accounts had been pirated, as well as its namesake designer, Stefano Gabbana, but did little to calm the uproar of social networks in China.

Some of China's biggest celebrities had been billed to attend the "Great Show" event, but on Wednesday, one after the other, they announced their retirement.

"Our homeland is more important than anything else, we appreciate the vigor and beauty of our cultural heritage," said the management of Wang Junkai, a popular singer in the TFBoys children's band, when they announced their retirement.

"I love my motherland," actress Li Bingbing told her 42 million fans on Weibo.

The controversy arose after Dolce & Gabbana published short clips on Instagram earlier this week that showed a woman eating pizza and spaghetti with chopsticks that some considered culturally insensitive.

It exploded in a firestorm after the screenshots of an Instagram user's chat with the famous volatile Stefano Gabbana circulated in which he used five smiling poop emojis to talk about China and hurled insults at the country and its people.

Even the Chinese Communist Youth League jumped into the fray.

"Foreign companies operating in China must respect China and respect the Chinese," the youth league wrote to Dolce & Gabbana on Weibo.

Actor Talu Wang also tweeted on Weibo: "Respect is more important than anything else."

As the reaction increased, Dolce & Gabbana turned to Instagram and Weibo saying that his account and that of designer Stefano Gabbana had been pirated and that his legal office was "urgently investigating" the matter.

"We regret the problems caused by these unauthorized publications, we have nothing but respect for China and the people of China," the company said on Instagram.

Dolce & Gabbana said separately on its verified Weibo account that the program "has been rescheduled", although it did not specify the reason or give a new date for the event.

"We apologize for the inconvenience," he said.

The controversy marks the latest setback for a foreign company to offend Chinese consumers with advertising or information that insults China or opposes Beijing's official position.

Earlier this year, German automaker Mercedes-Benz apologized for "hurting the feelings" of people in China after their Instagram account quoted Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, seen as a Beijing separatist.



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