Dior accused of racism over 'pulled eye' advert

time:2023-06-01 16:20:10 source:The Guardian

Luxury brand Dior has been accused of racism on Chinese social media over an advertisement showing an Asian model pulling up the corner of her eye.

The French label posted the picture on its Instagram account earlier this week, before swiftly taking it down.

Dior has not made any public comment. The BBC has asked them for a response.

Chinese netizens have become increasingly sensitive to the depiction of Chinese people amid rising nationalist sentiment online.

The controversial picture was posted six days ago to promote Dior's new makeup collection. It shows the model pulling up her eye with the caption "Channel your feline fierceness".

It was later reposted by netizens on Chinese social media platforms, where it received criticism and sparked the viral hashtag "Dior makeup advertisement accused of discriminating against Asians" on Weibo.

Angry comments have also flooded the label's Instagram account. "It's racial discrimination," a top-liked comment reads.

"Are you trying to make money and play racism at the same time?" a Chinese user posted.

State-owned newspaper Global Times published an editorial calling on the brand to apologise.

"'Pulling your eyes back'... makes fun of the appearance of Asians, especially East Asians," it said. "We hope that Dior can face up to its mistakes, make a sincere apology and response to Asian society, and make clear statements on how to prevent similar problems from happening in the future."

Some netizens have also called on Chinese celebrities who model for Dior to end their association with the brand.

But there are also some who think the discussion is over the top.

"An extreme unconfident person won't be able to take any level of humour," one Weibo user wrote.

"Those who buy Dior never think it insults China, it's always those who don't buy that are concerned by it," another one said.

This is not the first time Dior has been caught up in controversy in China, one of its biggest markets.

A Chinese fashion photographer's picture for the brand sparked outrage in 2021 after some netizens said it perpetuated Western stereotypes of Asian faces. The photographer later apologised and Dior said it "respects the sentiments of the Chinese people".

In 2022, Dior was accused of "culturally appropriating" a Chinese traditional design for one of its skirts.

A Chinese snack brand was also previously accused of racism for using a model with narrow eyes in its advertisements.

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