OK, let’s cut to the chase. Does this ugliness from Gucci convey racism to you?
If you said no, it doesn’t, you can go and stand in the no-it-doesn’t line. So what’s the deal on this whatever it is thing that you wear over your face and look completely stupid in?
Well, as we said it’s from uber couture fashion house Gucci and it’s making headlines, not because it’s crazy looking, but because people are calling it a racist blackface sweater.
Would you believe that before it was pulled from shelves and online, Gucci was selling this balaclava black knit thingy for damn near $900?!
The design of the sweater features a neck portion that can be pulled up over the face to cover the lower half, specifically the nose and mouth area, that portion also has a cut-out for the lips which are outlined in bright red. The image of the sweater quickly brings to mind the racist images of blackface from the past—and the backlash was immediate.
“What’s going on here @Gucci this is blatant Disrespect #Blackface,” posted Twitter user identified as King James shortly before Gucci tweeted its apology.
Once the negative response to the sweater started rolling in, Gucci issued a formal apology:
“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.
We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make. We are fully committed to increasing diversity throughout our organization and turning this incident into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team and beyond.”
“The uproar also coincides with another controversy threatening Virginia’s political leadership. Gov. Ralph Northam has been resisting calls to resign after a racist photograph emerged last week of a person in blackface next to another in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood that appeared on his 1984 medical school yearbook page. Northam initially apologized for appearing in the picture, then denied it was him. In a news conference, he admitted to having darkened his face as part of a Michael Jackson costume in a separate incident around the same time,” reports NPR. Check out the video posted below.