September 5, 2019

Dior Pulls Fragrance Campaign After Cultural Appropriation Backlash

By Kara Nesvig

Dior has pulled its latest campaign for the fragrance Sauvage after accusations of cultural appropriation and racism.

The campaign, called “We are the Land,” kicked off with a series of teasers and a short video featuring Rosebud Sioux tribe member Canku Thomas One Star performing the Fancy War Dance in traditional dress and actor Johnny Depp, who has been the face of Sauvage since 2015, playing guitar. “We are the land,” Depp intones via voiceover as Canku Thomas One Star dances. “Dior.” While the brand partnered with Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO) when launching the new campaign and did address the possibility of cultural appropriation, certain aspects raised eyebrows amongst fashion fans — namely the stereotypical imagery around Native Americans and the word “Sauvage” itself, which bears a striking similarity to the word “savage,” a word that has been used in a derogatory manner toward Native Americans throughout history.