Guests at a dinner party in Paris are facing backlash after a video featuring them wearing racist masks and chanting “Wuhan girls” was uploaded to Instagram.
The video was shared on Thursday night by French DJ Michel Gaubert, a regular collaborator with major fashion brands such as Chanel, Fendi, Dior and Valentino, according to South China Morning Post.
Eight guests can be seen in the video wearing racist slant-eyed paper masks and yelling “Wuhan girls, wahoo!” seemingly a reference to when COVID-19 was first located in Wuhan, China. The guests in the video, including Gaubert, attended an “Asian-themed” dinner.
Fashion influencers such as Susanna Lae and Tina Craig were quick to call him out on social media.
“Where to begin with this.…The patently racist paper maskers with the slanted eyes cut out, which are basically an Asian version of blackface,”
Lau said in her Instagram Stories, according to Women’s Wear Daily
. “The dumb reference to Wuhan girls obviously tickling Marie Beltrami and Michel Gaubert to no end as their LOL around with their f–king horrible masks whilst Asians are getting beaten up because of people conflating the origins of a virus with people’s ethnicity.”
Craig reportedly commented on the original video that this sort of hate speech is “dehumanizing” to Asian people and the “direct reason why we are being attacked and murdered.”
Gaubert later apologized for the video on Friday in a statement posted to Instagram.
“I am extremely sorry for this lack of dignity, especially in the times we are going through now. Asian hate is not acceptable and I condemn it like any other hate. I have always been embracing every culture in whatever I do and I am devastated when I see what is going on in the world today. Yet I failed when I thought I could not,” he wrote in the post.
He further shared his commitment to holding himself and others accountable for their actions.
“We all learn something every day and I realize it is not enough. I am committed to hold myself accountable and become a better person as I am convinced that we should all live in harmony and fight against every form of racism.”
Marie Beltrami (@mariebeltrami on Instagram) who reposted the video on her own account, is allegedly the maker of these masks. Though the account is private, screenshots show that Beltrami has posted offensive messages in the past.
In response to criticism, Beltrami is shown replying in a direct message, “You are very racist yourself, all you need is love…” followed by a heart emoji.