Dolce & Gabbana’s “The Great Show,” set to take place in Shanghai, China, was called off just hours before it was supposed to start, reported E! News. According to multiple sources, the fashion designers have been accused of racism after several explicitly racist videos and comments went viral on social media.
Ahead of the show, the brand released a three-part video series called “Eating With Chopsticks,” which featured a model eating various Italian foods with chopsticks. The videos included a narrator giving instructions to the model in Chinese, such as “don’t attempt to use the chopsticks as knives.” A social media firestorm ensued after the release of the videos, with many internet users accusing the designers of publishing demeaning and racist videos that mocked the Chinese culture.
The videos were eventually taken down from the brand’s Weibo account but remained on their other social media accounts. Furthermore, private Instagram messages with Stefano Gabbana were reportedly leaked by Instagram account Diet Prada, in which the designer is seen blatantly insulting China.
Messages reading, “And from now on in all the interviews that I will do international I will say that the country of [poop emojis] is China,” and “China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia” was included in a screenshot of the private conversation.
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As @dolcegabbana prepares to mount their next runway show in Shanghai this coming evening (7:30PM) and the rest of Instagram fawns over what’s sure to be an overly lavish “love letter” to China, we’ll be wondering if we’ll see chopsticks as hair ornaments, take-out boxes as purses, or even kimonos misappropriated as Chinese costume. Time will tell. For now, we’ll let y’all simmer on this DM between Stefano and Dieter @michaelatranova (chronology is reversed in slides). Word has it that they’re still in the process of model casting (over 200 Asian girls scheduled)...wouldn’t let them walk the show if we were their agents lol. Also, curious what the Chinese government will think of their country being called shit basically...especially considering how strict they are on who to allow to enter the country on work visas based on a thorough social media background checks. • #DGTheGreatShow #DGlovesChina #runway #fashionshow #cancelled #racism #dolceandgabbana #altamoda #rtw #dgmillennials #stefanogabbana #shanghai #chinese #china #wtf #dumb #lame #asianmodel #asian #dietprada
The Instagram account Diet Prada outed the designer brand, criticizing them for misappropriating Chinese culture and insulting the country of China. Included in the caption was, “Also, curious what the Chinese government will think of their country being called s**t basically…”
Gabbana has since denied that the messages came from him, claiming that his Instagram account had been hacked.
“My Instagram account has been hacked. My legal office is working on this. I love China and the Chinese Culture. I’m so sorry for what happened.”
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欢迎收看Dolce & Gabbana “起筷吃饭” 第1弹。 今天我们将率先向大家展示， 如何用这种小棍子形状的餐具， 来吃意大利伟大的传统玛格丽特披萨。 Welcome to Episode 1 with Dolce&Gabbana’s “Eating with Chopsticks”. First up today is how to use this stick shaped cutlery to eat your GREAT traditional Pizza Margherita. #DGLovesChina #DGTheGreatShow
The brand’s Instagram account also posted a similar message.
“Our Instagram account has been hacked. So has the account of Stefano Gabbana. Our legal office is urgently investigating. We are very sorry for any distress caused by these unauthorized posts, comments and direct messages. We have nothing but respect for China and the people of China. Dolce & Gabbana.”
Meanwhile, the fashion show has been postponed without mention of a rescheduled date. Twenty-four Asian models from China Bentley Modeling agency have since boycotted the show, posting casting photos to their social media accounts with the words “Not Me” written on them.
The brand has sparked controversy in the past, including an incident in 2013 in which security guards outside a Dolce & Gabbana’s Hong Kong store were reportedly attempting to stop locals from taking pictures of the storefront while allowing tourists and Chinese mainland visitors to snap away, reported CNN. The brand later apologized for the incident.