- Johnny Depp has signed a seven-figure, multiyear contract with Dior, a source confirmed to Insider.
- Following his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard, Depp is again the face of Dior’s Sauvage.
- In 2019, Dior faced cultural-appropriation allegations over the scent’s name and marketing.
Johnny Depp is back to endorsing a controversial Dior fragrance after his defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard finished in June.
Depp has signed a seven-figure, multiyear contract with Dior to resume his role as the face of the French fashion house’s fragrance Sauvage, a source close to the deal has confirmed to Insider.
The actor has been an ambassador for Dior since 2015, according to The New York Times, and appeared in a mini film to promote Sauvage in 2019. Dior faced accusations of cultural appropriation at the time, with many arguing that the fragrance’s name and its marketing centered on Native American culture was offensive.
On Monday, the 59-year-old actor and Dior Beauty shared their first partnership post since the verdict in his court case, captioned: “Fearless yet human, just like Sauvage.” In the black-and-white images shared on Instagram, taken by photographer Greg Williams, Depp can be seen playing guitar backstage at Olympia Hall in Paris ahead of a performance.
A second Instagram post shared on Tuesday showed a bottle of Sauvage next to Depp’s guitar, and Dior Beauty included a quote from Depp in the caption about how the scent brings back memories for him. A third post from Dior Beauty, also shared on Tuesday, showed a video interview with Depp backstage. In the clip, he says it’s “apt” to be performing at Paris’ Olympia Hall as it’s where he saw his ex-wife Vanessa Paradis perform and took his children to see Bob Dylan.
Hypebeast reports that the images will be used in a new Dior campaign including Depp and his music. Dior Beauty did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Dior didn’t terminate Depp’s brand ambassadorship during his trial
When Depp brought a defamation suit against Heard in 2019 — alleging that she defamed him by describing herself as a victim of domestic abuse in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed — film franchises such as “Fantastic Beasts” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” ended their professional relationships with the actor.
However, Dior did not terminate Depp’s brand ambassadorship, according to The New York Times. Although, as Hypebeast points out, the fashion brand “did limit its presence and connection with the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ actor during the height of the abuse allegations.”
While Depp was not directly named in Heard’s article, he sought $50 million in damages and the “Aquaman” actress countersued for $100 million in damages, Insider previously reported.
A Virginia jury reached a verdict on June 1, awarding Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, while Heard was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages.
Dior has faced controversy over its Sauvage fragrance in the past
In August 2019, the brand was accused of cultural appropriation after it released a video campaign that touted the fragrance as “an authentic journey deep into the Native American soul,” as Insider’s Chloe Pantazi previously reported.
—Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) August 30, 2019
The clip, which no longer appears to be available online, featured Depp and also included Canku One Star of the Rosebud Sioux tribe performing a version of a war dance. The clip ends with Depp’s voiceover saying: “We are the land. Dior.”
Many found the video to be disrespectful to Native American culture and some called out the racial undertones of the fragrance’s name Sauvage, which translates to “savage” in English. In 2018, Wesley Morris wrote in a New York Times article that the word “savage” is often tinged with racism, especially in reference to those belonging to Native American and African-American communities.
At the time, the Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO), a nonprofit that advocates for indigenous peoples, told Insider that they worked with Dior on the project.
“AIO does not speak for all Indigenous peoples,” the AIO’s executive director Laura Harris previously told Insider. “We are proud to have successfully achieved our goals of education and inclusion for this project with Parfums Christian Dior.”
A statement from the AIO provided to Insider at the time said that the collaboration came about after Depp — who was adopted by the Comanche Nation in 2012 after claiming Cherokee heritage — “reached out to his Comanche family to ask for their help to ensure Native cultures were portrayed appropriately.”
Depp was quoted in the statement as well, saying that “from the choice of location, wardrobe making, right down to casting and set design, AIO was involved.”
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