Early Friday night, the French luxury giant started wiping “We are the Land” teaser videos of the “authentic journey deep into the Native American soul,” which was set for release Sept. 1 from Twitter and Instagram after widespread backlash online.
Depp, who has been repping Sauvage since 2015, is the voice in the video that shows a woman wearing a wolf skin and a man dressed in traditional Native American dancing in the desert, but beyond the imagery, many were upset by the language used by the campaign.
“‘Sauvage’ is the word the racist mobs were screaming when they stoned Mohawk civilians during the Oka crisis,” one user tweeted.
Dior put out a press release to justify their ad:
“As soon as we began to evoke Native American imagery and symbols in this new film, the House of Dior, Jean-Baptiste Mondino and Johnny Depp immediately decided to contact Native American consultants who are enrolled citizens of the Comanche, Isleta and Taos Pueblos and the Pawnee Nations,” they note, with the “shared aim” of “moving away from cliches in order to avoid the cultural appropriation and subversion that so often taints images representing Native peoples.”
They continued: “And so, from the script to the choice of locations via costume making and right down to casting, which they organized themselves, the AIO validated all the elements and symbols linked to Native American cultures.”
On the plus side, one Twitter user put out an amazing tweet in response to the ad saying, “The only way this Dior campaign could be worse is if Elizabeth Warren had a cameo.”
The only way this Dior campaign could be worse is if Elizabeth Warren had a cameo.