Photo Credit: Screenshot/Twitter
Social media went into a frenzy early this morning when images of a new Gucci sweater appearing to simulate racist blackface circulated the Internet. People were not only outraged by the offensively negative product, they were shocked that a campaign like this would launch during a month that celebrates the very culture this sweater mocks.
After unwavering backlash, Gucci pulled the product down from its site, and issued an apology via Twitter.
The brand “deeply apologizes” and highlights the fact that it considers “diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld.
Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper.
We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make.
Full statement below. pic.twitter.com/P2iXL9uOhs
— gucci (@gucci) February 7, 2019
“Gucci deeply apologizes for the offense caused by the wool balaclava jumper. We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores.”
Photo Credit: Screenshot taken before product was removed
Though the product has been removed, it’s clear this Gucci release was part of a much larger campaign.
Getty Images has a photo of a Black male wearing a similarly-made Gucci product, which appears to be a partial wool facemask with thick red lining around the lips.
Photo Credit: Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images
According to CBS News, “Several people pointed out that if more people of color worked at the fashion house, this insensitive garment may have been flagged as inappropriate and racist before being sold.”
— Earl Skakel (@EarlSkakel) February 7, 2019
Prada and Gucci finally pulled their $550.00 keychain and $890 sweater after protesters called out racist imagery and deemed them unacceptable. Why didn’t the brands see this? https://t.co/vnJJWv61Mp
— Nancy Etcoff (@NancyEtcoff) February 7, 2019
We have ONE month to celebrate the history of African Americans. Feb. 2019: Multiple accounts of politicians wearing blackface. And now news Gucci was selling a $890 blackface sweater. We are a nation desperately in need of diversity training. #gucci #BlackHistoryMonth pic.twitter.com/tHXEAP2pjN
— Michelle Singletary (@SingletaryM) February 7, 2019