Gucci has become the latest company to come under fire in China for having a model that allegedly perpetuates “Western stereotypes” about Chinese people.
Driving the news: In ads for its new series of bamboo top handle bags, Gucci allegedly featured a female model with “slanted eyes,” a nose ring and a leather whip in her hand. Critics reportedly found the ads offensive, arguing that they serve the Western idea of how Chinese people look.
Gucci posted the model’s photos on Weibo on Dec. 10, but they were gone as of Wednesday, according to Global Times.
The state-run media said the brand retracted photos of the bags on Weibo, but the model’s images remained on Twitter.
Critics have claimed Gucci’s actions were “clearly a manifestation of a guilty conscience.”
While some took a jab on the brand’s supposedly Western view of Chinese people, others simply found the model’s makeup and accessories “morbid.”
The big picture: Chinese social media users have taken offense at the allegedly negative portrayals of Chinese people of several major companies lately, including two other brands in just the last week.
Three Squirrels, a local snack brand, faced backlash last week over a resurfaced 2019 ad that featured a model with “slanted eyes.” While the company was forced to apologize, the model in question fired back at critics.
This week, Mercedes-Benz was also criticized for likewise using a model with “slanted eyes.” The automaker has since deleted the ad under scrutiny.
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