- Moellyn Ramos Yetsko
Dior thought a ‘Sauvage’ perfume ad with Native Americans was a good idea.
That was until the cultural appropriation criticisms started stacking up and they realized that 'sauvage' was a word used against Native Americans.
Earlier this month, Dior made headlines after receiving backlash on their "Sauvage" perfume campaign featuring Native American imagery with a dash of cultural appropriation. Yikes.
Many critics made comments on their disapproval of the visuals, but the main trigger that really got people mad was the name of the perfume. "Sauvage" is a French word that means "wild" or "savage" – commonly used as a slur towards Native Americans. In response, Dior got rid of the ad from Twitter.
Here's where the controversial part takes play... During that campaign, Dior was working alongside Americans for Indian Opportunity, an organization that strives to “educate the production teams on Native American contemporary realities and to create allies for Indigenous peoples.”
“Honestly, I couldn’t help but laugh because this drips with irony – every single aspect of it...But I’m also upset and angry at the same time.”
- Dallas Goldtoothan (Organizer with environmental and economic justice group, Indigenous Environmental Network)
After all the heat Dior was under for cultural insensitivity, the company decided to cancel the release of the perfume's video advertisement and rest of the campaign. Although the whole thing ended in conflict, Dior deserves credit for reaching out directly to a Native American advocacy group for help with the ad campaign. What's your opinion on the whole situation? Did you think Dior did everything they could or not even close to enough? Is Dior to blame? Let us know.
(Cover image courtesy of "Dior, j'adore ... aux Galeries Lafayette" by twiga269 ॐ FEMEN is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0)