D&G Founders Apologize to China as Boycott Gains Steam

By That's, November 23, 2018

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After ruffling some feathers with a ‘racist’ promotional video earlier this week, Stefano Gabbana and the Dolce & Gabbana brand have lost major face in China. On Friday, November 23, D&G founders Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana went on camera and apologized.

Watch below to see the full apology (in Italian with Chinese subtitles, VPN off):

Below, a full transcription of the apology, as translated by Tristin Zhang of That's:

“For the past few days, we’ve been doing some self-reflection. We are deeply sorry about everything unpleasant our words and deeds have caused the Chinese people and their nation. Our education at home teaches us to respect different cultures of the world. Herein, we hope you forgive the deviation of our cultural comprehension. We are extremely serious about this statement. Hereby, we sincerely apologize to Chinese communities worldwide. Our love for China is as strong as always. Our countless visits [to China] make us love the Chinese culture even more. Of course, there are still many things for us to learn. Regarding the mistake we made through our previous expression, we must apologize. We will never forget this experience and lesson. Things of this nature will never happen again. Meanwhile, we must try our best to better our understanding of and respect for Chinese culture. Finally, we beg your forgiveness from the bottom of our hearts. Dui bu qi.”

This formal apology follows a November 21 post on the company’s official Instagram account expressing their thoughts after their Shanghai fashion show was cancelled.

Image via @dolcegabbana/Instagram

Many consumers and online stores are pursuing a boycott against D&G after what’s been coined ruhua, a term meaning ‘disgrace to China.’ 

On November 22, popular e-commerce platforms such as Suning and JD.com quickly removed D&G products from their stores, according to China Daily. Merchants on Taobao have also expressed their opposition to the brand.

That’s did an online search for D&G products on the sites mentioned above and can confirm Taobao, JD.com and Suning have taken the Italian brand’s products off their virtual shelves.

Dolce & Gabbana product search on Suning. Screengrab via Suning.com

Dolce & Gabbana product search on Taobao. Screengrab via Taobao

Dolce & Gabbana product search on JD.com. Screengrab via JD.com

Some shoppers were unfortunate enough to purchase D&G products right before the boycott started. “I’m sorry, but since the whole country is boycotting, can I get a refund?” one customer told a Hangzhou D&G staff member over WeChat, according to a Weibo post. “I wouldn’t dare to wear this, I’m afraid once I walk out people will throw poop at me!” said the customer, referencing the poop emoji allegedly used by Stefano Gabbana in a text message blasting China. (Gabbana has denied sending the aforementioned text message and has claimed his account was hacked). Chinese people have turned the emoji against the brand, creating fake product listings online of ‘D&G branded poop.’

Image via @何天恩/Weibo

With all the animosity towards D&G’s marketing blunder, it was only a matter of time before a parody video was made.

One video, originally posted by Weibo user @SerenaHottie, shows a split screen of the promotional video by D&G and a man’s surprisingly accurate impersonation. Instead of Italian cuisine though, the man makes poor attempts at eating traditional Chinese edibles like baozi and beef noodles, using a knife and fork positioned as chopsticks. He also attempts to eat soup with a knife, mimicking the girl’s reactions in the original video. You can view the messy eating parody below (VPN off):

[Cover image: screengrab via 网易娱乐]

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