THR is reporting Johnny Depp has defended his latest Dior campaign, Sauvage, which was pulled Aug. 30 after being considered offensive to Native Americans.
Per the outlet, the film is adapted from South African author J. M. Coetzee’s novel about the cruelty of colonialism. The clip, part of a short film directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, showed Depp wandering through desert as Native Americans perform a war dance in traditional dress. The company received complaints that it was offensive and it was subsequently taken down.
Reacting to this, Depp said that there has been no final decision to pull the ad and the creative teams plan to meet and work with those who were offended by the clip to come to a resolution. He noted the creative team had worked with the Comanche Nation and other indigenous advocacy organizations during the creation of the film.
Per the outlet, he said:
“A teaser obviously is 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 dishonorable [intent]. The film was made with a great respect for the indigenous people not just of North America but all over the world. It’s a pity that people jumped the gun and made these objections. However, their objections are their objections.
I can assure you that no one has any reason to go out to try to exploit. 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. They haven’t had the greatest amount of help out of the United States government,” he said. “The idea is as pure as it ever was, so we will come to an agreement so that everyone is happy.”
Depp addressed the topic of Barbarians, in which he plays a sadistic colonel wielding power against native peoples in an unnamed empire. He said the character stems from being taught to hate others in his youth. “There is no specific country — the problem is not far away from us and it’s all around us. It is very much about injustice and people who are in a position to pervert justice, and free to act as they want without any real penalties because they have a badge.”