Dolce & Gabbana call off Shanghai show in racism, sexism row

Over model eating pizza with chopsticks and Gabbana comments

(ANSA) - Beijing, November 21 - Dolce & Gabbana on Wednesday called off a Shanghai show amid a row over its social-media campaign showing a model attempting to use chopsticks to eat pizza, which Chinese Web users have slammed as racist and sexist, and allegedly derogatory comments about China from Stefano Gabbana. D&G cancelled the highly awaited show-event at Shanghai's Expo Centre after the topic got more than 120 million hits on China's version of Twitter, Weibo, including criticism from Memories of a Geisha star Zhang Ziyi.
    Gabbana was quoted as describing China as a "foul-smelling, dirty and ignorant mafia" in comments he said were posted by someone who hacked his Instagram account.
    The controversy arose after a video posted on the Italian fashion brand's page on the Chinese social media site Weibo on Monday showed a Chinese model attempting to use chopsticks to eat a pizza, a cannoli and spaghetti.
    Weibo users accused the label of trivialising the country's culture and depicting Chinese women in a racist way.
    The girl was said to have a stereotypical 'naive' appearance with small eyes, and she was described using double entendres.
    Furthermore, her inability to use the chopsticks was mocked and, when it came to the cannoli, a voiceover asked "is it too big for you?".
    The video for "The Great Show" was taken down within 24 hours but it had already been shared widely on social media, where the hashtag #BoycottDolce began to circulate.
    As well as Zhang, other cinema superstars including Li Bingbing and Chen Ku had said they would no longer attend the event.
    The Italian fashion house complained of hacking attacks regarding the comments attributed to Gabbana.
    "Our Instagram account was hacked. And also Stefano Gabbana's account.
    "Our legal office is urgently investigating.
    "We are very sorry for any suffering caused by these unauthorised posts.
    "We have only respect for China and the Chinese people," said D&G's Weibo account.
    At the end of the statement it was announced that The Great Show had been cancelled.


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