The Truth Behind “Hundreds protest at D&G photo ‘ban’ in Hong Kong” (Updated)

The report from AFP lefts out the truth of Hong Kong D&G protest.

The protest followed reports that a Dolce and Gabbana security guard had stopped a photographer taking pictures of its shopfront from the pavement outside.

The truth is that the security guard told a local Hong Kong photographer to “get lost” and only Mainland Chinese is allowed to take picture of Hong Kong D&G storefront.

The above picture is taken from Hong Kong Sharp Daily and its title reads “Mainland Chinese guests are allowed to take photos. Hongkonger get lost. D&G obviously bully Hongkonger”.

Therefore, the cause of the protest is more than just the rights of taking photograph in public area and it is about the discrimination of Hongkonger.

"Stop Discriminating Hong Konger"
"D&豬(Pig, since it sounds like "G" in Cantonese) Hongkonger and Dog are Not Allowed"
"Anti D&G: 1. Supremacy 2. Discriminate Hongkonger"
Banner on the left says "I am Hongkonger. Refuse to be re-colonized" and the one on the right says "Hongkonger have rights to take picture in Canton Road public space".

The following is a video taken from Hong Kong Apple Daily that analyzes the cause of the protest (English Subtitle by me).

Up to now (Jan 9th 2011), D&G still haven’t apologized. And here is the headline of today Apple Daily.

Headline: Thousands People Challenged. Dolce and Gabbana, Give Apology!

Report from Taiwan FTV. Since Taiwanese afraid that they would be like Hong Kong one day, especially Taiwan holds a presidential election this weekend, they reported this protest in quite a detail.

27 thoughts on “The Truth Behind “Hundreds protest at D&G photo ‘ban’ in Hong Kong” (Updated)

  1. This is brilliant. Thank you for the honest narration of this incident.

    I am utterly astonished by the lack of comprehensive coverage of this incident in most english-based websites. Thank you for standing up for the truth and justice.

  2. I’d have to say the possible reason for AFP’s leaving out the part about “discrimination” could be that the paper couldn’t verify the validity of this claim (that someone from D&G – or maybe a security guard – did say this) – and it is important for a newsire of international standing to verify the facts, instead of spreading instigating rumors just from allegedly one person’s account (i.e. that one reporter from the paper). Unfortunately that’s what papers do in HK – it attracts readership and the people who attend the protest trusted in the account and reacted to it naturally. I don’t deny that this might have indeed happened, but for international newswires to quote the same without any evidence that’s another question. Just my two cents.

  3. I can’t imagine for a second that D and G’s policy is to upset people from Hong Kong in their own part of the world.

    It may be that this security guard is a racist, or simply that the photographer mis-interpreted the security guard’s actions.

    1. It was more than just one photographer. The Apple Daily was informed of this photography ban after an ordinary citizen was stopped from taking photos of his female companion on the pavement in front of one of D&G’s shops. So two groups of journalists from the Apple Daily tried to find out if this really happened and was confronted with the same rough attitude at both shops, one on Hong Kong Island and one in Kowloon. D&G staff never properly explained the reason apart from citing “intellectual property rights” (grasping straws). Both shops resorted to rough and threatening manners. At one point one of the security guards even said that they had no problem letting Mainland Chinese tourists take photos, but local Hong Kong citizens would need permission to do so (how would they distinguish these two groups, I wonder?). The next day, one of the D&G shops even set a stout, foreign guard to threaten a journalist. So there was really nothing to mis-interpret.

  4. There is nothing to verify the alleged acts of discrimination. But the fact of the matter is that D&G Staff used threatening behaviour (caught clearly on video) toward a photographer on a public street. The D&G doorman threatened to break the camera (saying this 3 times in the video). D&G have since come out and totally deny any wrongdoing in this case and blames the media for stirring up the whole thing. I thought a simple apology regarding the doorman and some cultural education for the staff would have done the trick.

    1. Cultural education? All of the staff are probably locals. How much more cultural education do they need to understand their own people?

      D&G may have damaged its reputation in Hong Kong, but it intends to dilute it by opening up to 30 more branches on the Mainland.

  5. Thanks for putting this up, with English subtitles which you work hard at. I appreciate all your efforts for this important information as a person of Cantonese ancestry, who can now only speak & read English! (and some basics from my por-por 🙂

  6. well, depending on how you elaborate it…D&G is slow in responding…but the fact is, the security guard is not a D&G staff and D&G already said so in the press release statement, the security guard company as well as Harbour City both apologized on the incident already

    So is it really D&G to blame?

    1. If D&G hired the security firm, then the behavior of the guards reflects upon it.

      Just because you outsource a task to another party does not totally absolve you from that party’s behavior if the behavior is questionable.

  7. Dear Mark, all other shops nearby have no such issues (they share the same security company). On the other hand, D&G never reveals the true identity of the security company or the guards themselves. One cannot throw all responsibilities towards someone without naming that someone. One more thing, though hearsay, D&G is frequently visited by mainlaind China high officials who are famous for obtaining out-of-proportion income from corruption and bribery, they don’t want to be photographed. In the past there were incidents like this one, they get searched on the internet, investigated, convicted and punished (extravagant red wine sales drop in mainland owing to the same reason—-they get investigated as soon as they open a bottle of Lafite in the open public). Now people say, D&G obviously doesn’t want to lose such “prestigious” clients, therefore they stop photographers even on a public pavement.

    1. Hi Allan,

      See this blog

      It is quite obvious those are from security, and the security company already apologized for the behaviour. Whether all shops shares the same security company, I doubt.

      As for the assumption it is to protect high end officials, I would be surprised if they allowed Chinese tourists to do it, and not HKers, wouldn’t it affect them more?

      I am not saying they are right, I am just saying, don’t just shoot anyone you like, shoot thye culprit
      With all said, I am not saying it is a right thing they did, I am just saying, shoo

  8. It shouldn’t matter what your nationality is, if you’re a photographer, and you see a good window display, photograph it and post it on your blog.
    Let me know about it, and I’m gonna (re)tweet it.
    Is there a #hashtag so we can bring some more attention to this problem ?

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