Spike Lee may be riding high over his film “BlacKkKlansman” being nominated for Best Picture, but he’s also upset at Gucci and Prada for releasing items that many have called racist.
Earlier this week, Gucci was called out over a black turtleneck sweater that could be pulled up to the nose, and a lot of social media users thought it resembled blackface. The item has since been discontinued, and on Wednesday the Italian fashion brand issued an apology.
Plus, in December, Prada created a campaign centered on figurines that looked like the Little Black Sambo characters, with blackface, big eyes, red lips and a wide smile. The brand apologized soon afterward and said the figurines were based on “imaginary creatures,” not anything in the real world.
But a lot of folks said they were confused about how either of those items saw the light of day and pointed to both brands not having enough Black designers. In fact, Gucci addressed the subject of diversity in its apology.
“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,” a statement read.
But until that happens, Spike said he wants nothing to do with Gucci or Prada until they make some major changes with its staff.
“I, Spike Lee Of Sound Mind And Body Will No Longer Wear Prada Or Gucci Until They Hire Some Black Designers To Be In Da Room When It Happens,” he tweeted on Friday. “It’s Obvious To Da Peoples That They Don’t Have A Clue When It Comes To Racist, Blackface Hateful Imagery. WAKE UP. Ya-Dig? Sho-Nuff. And Dat’s Da ‘Coonery And Buffoonery’ Truth,Ruth.”
Spike’s followers immediately responded to the post.
“Mr. Lee ohh they know about racism. They don’t care,” someone alleged.
“They just want the money. They don’t care about the culture,” another person wrote. “They jock it so hard but don’t really want anyone on their creative teams that lives and breathes it.”
And although Gucci said the sweater would be completely removed from its stores and website, USA Today reports that images and descriptions are still on sites of certain retailers.