Rapper 50 Cent has turned on Gucci in a big way and filmed himself setting one of the fashion brand’s shirts on fire following the “blackface” controversy.
The iconic fashion house has come under fire from all quarters in the wake of releasing a jumper which was slammed for “resembling blackface.”
The black balaclava jumper in question was criticized for possessing a curious design which many felt was extremely offensive. A striking red cut-out around the mouth drew a host of comparisons to blackface, leading Gucci to hastily withdraw the fashion item from sale.
NME reports that a spokesperson for the designer brand explained that the incident was a “powerful learning moment for the Gucci team” and they would heed their mistakes and come back stronger. However, 50 Cent was among those who weren’t satisfied with Gucci’s apology. NME reports that the rapper took to Instagram and uploaded a video of himself burning a Gucci t-shirt.
In the accompanying caption, 50 Cent wrote, “I gotta get rid of all the Gucci I have at home. I’m not supporting their brand anymore.”
50 Cent decided to burn all his Gucci wardrobe to the ground a number of hours after he pledged in a previous Instagram post to donate all his Gucci to people living on the streets, “so the right demo can wear it.”
The origin of blackface has its roots two centuries ago. White performers would paint their faces to resemble a black person and engage in racist comedy routines which would mock black people. The blackface performers were considered acceptable entertainment at the time, but black people found the inaccurate depictions hurtful and deeply offensive.
The Independent reports that in 2017, Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann triggered outrage on social media after going blackface and dressing up as an NBA All-Star basketball player. After posting a picture of himself in fancy dress to Twitter, the footballer was inundated with hordes of complaints which led to him later removing the post and apologizing to anyone who was “understandably” offended by it.
In a follow-up tweet, the 26-year-old wrote the following.
“Calm down guys I’m a fan of the Harlem globetrotters and the good times…. It’s a tribute.”
More recently, Katy Perry received flak when a design on a pair of shoes in the singer’s collection drew comparisons to blackface. They have since been removed from the stores.
In a statement, Perry admitted to being “saddened” after it was brought to her attention that the line of sandals and loafers which were pulled from retail outfits were “compared to painful images reminiscent of blackface.”
She added, “Our intention was never to inflict any pain.”