Johnny Depp breaks silence on Dior ‘cultural appropriation’ claims

Johnny Depp has come out fighting amid claims he helped facilitate the ‘cultural appropriation’ of Native American imagery for a Dior advert, by insisting the promotion was ‘made with respect’.

Depp was dragged into the controversy by co-star Tanya Beatty who issued a public call on Instagram for him to make a charitable donation as recompense for having ‘blatantly disrespected indigenous culture’, an idea Depp now seems unlikely to take up.

In a robust defence of the ‘Just Ad Indian’ campaign for Dior Sauvage, Depp said: “A teaser is obviously a very concentrated version of images and there were objections to the teaser of the small film. The film has never been seen. There was never — and how could there be or how would there be — any dishonourable [intent].

“‘It’s a pity that people jumped the gun and made these objections. However, their objections are their objections. It was a film made out of great respect and with great respect and love for the Native American peoples to bring light to them.”

Striking a more conciliatory note Depp said that Dior was working with those offended by the advert to reach an amicable resolution.

The advert stirred an internet backlash for its depiction of a Native American culture which included footage of a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota performing a war dance.

Dior has also defended the creative process behind the campaign by stating that it sought to dispel cliches.