In wake of blackface scandals, Spike Lee calls for boycott of Prada, Gucci

Spike Lee
Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

During a week when it’s been hard to keep up with the parade of public officials and entities linked to blackface scandals, filmmaker Spike Lee has stepped forward to say he will no longer wear Prada or Gucci.

This past week, Gucci pulled a sweater from its stores that appeared to resemble blackface makeup after complaints poured in. In December, Prada pulled figurines from its New York store that resembled blackface imagery.

Lee, nominated for an Oscar for the critically acclaimed BlackKklansman, posted on Friday to Instagram: “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.’ 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.”


Lee has also used his star power to draw attention to the lack of recognition of Black artists at the Oscars.

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As of Saturday the post had more than 25,000 likes.

Rappers T.I. and Soulja Boy have also called for a Gucci boycott.

The company based in Italy posted an apology to its Twitter feed on Wednesday, saying it “deeply apologizes” for the offensive merchandise.

“We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected., and at the forefront of every decision we make,” Gucci posted. “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.”

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In the Prada incident, the company said it did not intend to offend with the charms.

“The Pradamalia are fantasy charms composed of elements of the Prada oeuvre,” the company said in a statement published in The Guardian. “They are imaginary creatures not indended to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface. Prada Group never had the intention of offending anyone and we abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery.”

Neither Gucci nor Prada had responded by early Saturday afternoon to Lee’s statement.