Much Ado about Dolce And Gabbana, And Freedom Of Speech

Domenico+Dolce+Domenico+Dolce+Stefano+Gabbana+t-coF0PNK0RxAgainst yesterday’s Dolce and Gabbana post, a commenter said: ‘There’s something called ‘consequence.’ If you’re ready to express your opinion, no matter how unpopular, then you should be ready for whatever fallout there is to what you’ve said… If D&G wants to talk, fine. Just don’t get all snippy when there’s a consequence. Freedom of expression is all well and good. So is freedom of reaction. You don’t excuse someone for saying something horrible, and then shit on someone else for reacting unfavorably to it.’

I’ve noticed a trend with people who express unpopular opinions on KD. They easily play the victim card, the ‘Hey, I simply expressed my opinion, you’re so unfair for disagreeing with me’ complex, especially if those disagreeing are multitudinous. While I draw a line on the bandying of insults (a failing I know I’m guilty of myself), I think it is awfully hypocritical to say something and bemoan your fate when a lot more people do not agree with you. Of course we all know that YOUR comment is YOUR opinion (for those who like to attach reminders in their comments). But does the fact that the comment is from the minority make it okay for you to expect the majority not to speak against it? What then happens to the majority’s freedom of expression?

For every word you say, every comment you dispense, one should expect a rebuttal, an opposing view that someone else will express in a reaction that would range from mild to inflamed. Again, I have to stress this: I am not championing the predilection for insults. But I have nothing but a sneering disdain for those who wail and lament about how everyone else should leave them and their opinions alone. No one will leave your opinion alone, otherwise you would not have expressed it on a blog. Deep down, you do not even want your opinion ignored. A blog is a forum for interaction, both opposing and complementary. And anyone who deems it fit to say something on it should bear in mind that there is someone else out there who disagrees with him and will want to say so, however vehemently.

It is the lesson Domenico Dolce and Stefan Gabbana should probably take away from this mess that they incurred; that freedom of expression is not a commodity that trades very well in the celebrity market, especially when you are in the business of pandering to the public.

Below is a piece which makes my point, originally published on Pink News, which y’all will find very illuminating. Check on it.

*

Social media meltdowns are one of my guilty pleasures. Whether it’s public figures who can now bypass their PR people with their iPads and launch a backlash to end all backlashes against themselves, or social media teams who hijack serious and profound hashtags to sell their product, only to find themselves in a spot of trouble for not taking a second to think. Take, for example, the DiGornio pizza company who used the #WhyIStayed hashtag, used to highlight why victims of domestic violence didn’t leave their abusive partners, to tweet “You had pizza”.

The D&G response to Elton John’s boycott has been outstanding in that sense. Any sensible PR person would have sought to apologise emphatically, try to undo the damage by making a small but symbolic donation to a charity related to the issue they’ve been controversial about and, most importantly, do their utmost to ensure the story dies. These tried-and-tested PR objectives were presumably what was going through Stefano Gabbana’s head when he posted a poorly photoshopped image of the famous “Je Suis Charlie” poster, which many displayed after the terrorist attack at Charlie Hebdo, doctored simply to say “Je Suis D&G”. Nothing calms down a social media storm quite like comparing yourself to murdered cartoonists.

The gist of Gabbana’s response and that of his supporters is that their freedom of speech is being infringed by the backlash. One of those defending D&G is professional troll Katie Hopkins – normally a moral arbiter for right and wrong (when she’s saying you’re right, you’re most definitely wrong). She said earlier that “Surely being tolerant is accepting we all have different opinions and should be able to express them freely. Elton could express the alternative view to D&G without calling for every other fawning celeb to turn up and throw rotten tomatoes at their brand”. Put simply, D&G should be able to say what they like without fear of people saying what they like to them in return.

There is a stark difference between disagreeing with somebody’s view and disagreeing with their right to hold that view. Retreating to the “I’m being silenced” camp is a coward’s response to losing the argument. “I’ve got no points left to respond with, so instead I’m going to accuse you of attacking my freedoms”. It’s a nonsense we should all challenge. Gabbana had every right to say what he did and he also had every right to compare himself to those poor people gunned down in Paris a few months ago. Disagreeing with those rights is wrong; disagreeing with what he said is your absolute right, as is boycotting their brand.

It’s a gross mutation of freedom of speech to suggest that whilst one can express whatever offensive view they like, they should be able to do so without being offended in return. When people like Hopkins say “you can’t say that anymore”, what they actually mean is that you can, but people might say things back to you. It’s of the same plane of thought that says a perfectly democratic boycott is pretty much like putting D&G in the stocks and, as Hopkins suggests, throwing tomatoes at them. Why can’t we just respect the views of the people who upset us and be quiet? We clearly have absolutely no right to use our freedom of speech in response to them using theirs.

It’s difficult to see what exactly it was about the backlash that made D&G’s supporters feel like their beloved brand had become a victim of “fascist” oppression. Either way, they are acutely aware of the power of brand. The budget they must put aside for marketing is a direct acceptance that the public image assigned to their name matters – it is directly related to sales and, consequently, the amount of money in their pockets. This boycott is going some way to impacting that and it won’t be long before D&G offers an actual apology – not because they’re sorry for what they said or did, but because they’re sorry it’s caused them problems. So please continue to boycott and, for the sake of genuine freedom of speech, don’t let them get away with framing themselves as some sort of victim of Orwellian authoritarianism. They’re not.

 

62 thoughts on “Much Ado about Dolce And Gabbana, And Freedom Of Speech

  1. Just a day after Elton John started that hashtag, he was pictured going into the studio with D&G bag. This Celebs sef, nawa dem oo

  2. Ev’ryone should be careful hw he attacks one’s view that doesn’t agree with his. Or better still just SHUT UP!

  3. Like I said…D&G aren’t the victims here, acting like they are only goes to show how blissfully out of touch they and their supporters in this matter are.

    Talk shit, get hit (literally or metaphorically)

  4. I was going to send in my thoughts over the weekend on the whole freedom of speech thing that’s trending on KD. But for now this will do… Will be watching out for some people.

    Anderson Cooper would be proud of what I had in mind to write though.

  5. “Pinky is an egotistical asshole”
    “Khaleesi is a murdering sociopath”
    “All the people from Absalom’s village don’t wear shirts so they are tree climbing baboons”
    “Dennis has Ebube Nwaigbo legs, they do not fit the standard of society so they should be chopped off”
    “Deola called Alicia Florrick a slut, he must be punished”

    I could go on but let me explain. You see, those thoughts there are my personal opinion, they may be false, except that of deola, he really did call Alicia a slut so he must be punished. Oh I digress…
    Back to the matter. Those statements up there are hurtful and my personal opinion but should I go around saying that? Is it right to hurt people then when they react, I hide behind “IT’S MY PERSONAL OPINION?” No it is not, it’s not right in any way.
    Everyman is entitled to their opinion, they are even entitled to air them but please we have to know if it is the RIGHT thing to say. When D&G made that statement, I bet they were not thinking of the millions of kids and their parents they hurt in the process, millions of kids born through surrogacy and IVF, millions of families who needed kids so bad, they were overjoyed when science provided an answer.
    I watched snippets of their interview with CNN this morning and yet again they kept speaking on how they respect people’s life choices and decisions but they were only expressing their innermost personal opinion. Oh what a load of crap. Innermost is exactly what it is, INNERMOST. Keep it inside, don’t spew it out. Did they not consider the kids abandoned by their traditional families that ended up having a loving home with a gay couple? It’s all well and good that they, D&G, were raised in a TRADITIONAL home and they really had a good time but that does not translate to the entire population. What is traditional anyway? That you have a class of 30 kids with 29 raised by heterosexual couples and 1 raised by a gay couple does in no way make that 1 child inferior or less loved.

    If I do have a brand to protect and people depending on me for their livelihood, I really should watch what I say. I have no right to pull an emotional maneuver and tell people not to bully me for my words which ultimately bullied somebody else. I work for an indigenous manufacturing company and I can bet you, if my GM comes out and declares support for boko haram, Nigerians would call for a boycott. Does my GM then have a right to say it is his/her personal opinion? Even if it is to call the first lady a fat illiterate, that should be done in your home, your privacy, not in interviews then try to hide behind “PERSONAL OPINION”

    Please we are all entitled to our opinions but we should really consider others before we air those opinions.

    P/S: My opinions at the start of this tirade are FALSE and in no way reflect any views I’ve had in the past, present or future. Except that of deola, he really should be punished for calling my beloved Alicia Florrick a slut.

  6. This doesn’t change a thing about anything. You are jut trying to force your opinion down the throat of others, we have the right to either accept or reject. Your opinion is your opinion and should not be generally acceptable.

    I read all that you wrote and I still don’t see the point. You kept going round in circles and I was waiting for the climax and I was disappointed. You just refused to land.

    Whether you like it or not, we all can’t reason alike, and just because someone decides to go against the tide, that doesn’t mean the person is less knowledgeable.

    I couldn’t help but laugh when you guys decided to call Chestnut to order because he said something that you guys did not agree on. You even forgot to mention that when someone’s opinion is different from others, your goons would call them a ‘newbie’ or ask ‘where did this one come out from’, you did not tell us that this blog had Mayors and Class Captains; they forget that there are those who are daily visitors but decided not to comment because of outbursts such as this.

    Nobody came here to buy land or build house. If one sees anything he doesn’t agree with, why don’t you say it and move on, it is not a must for your opinion to be accepted.

    Like I have said before and would continue to say, if you decide to post and you expect a certain response from a select group of people, then let us know. Let there be a caveat at the end of every post so that people with differing opinion would not bother wasting time on commenting.

    I think it is about time for some people to get off their high horses….by the way, this is NOT MY PERSONAL OPINION.

    • @Sinnex *gives you a very long and hot kiss* muuuuuuaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!

      This truth that you are preaching…. Kontinu o! Kontinu

      Just know that someone admires you from afar

      • Maybe…maybe not.

        I read it and I interpreted it the way I deemed fit.

        If you wanted me interpret it in a different way, you could have written your post in a different way also.

      • @Sinnex, you’re a coward. There’s something known as “wrong opinion”
        Isis is murdering people half way around the world and they’re wrong, even though its their opinion.
        So don’t stand in the shade and wag your “little judgmental fingers” on others.
        Your opinion is plain wrong. And no matter how you say it or defend it, it’ll always be wrong. So park up your shop cos no one is buying what you’re selling.

      • “Fuck It (I Don’t Want You Back)”

        See, I don’t know why I liked you so much
        I gave you all, of my trust
        I told you, I loved you, now that’s all down the drain
        You put me through pain, I wanna let you know how I feel

        Fuck what I said it don’t mean shit now
        Fuck the presents might as well throw ’em out
        Fuck all those kisses, they didn’t mean jack
        Fuck you, you hoe, I don’t want you back

        Fuck what I said it don’t mean shit now
        Fuck the presents might as well throw ’em out
        Fuck all those kisses they didn’t mean jack
        Fuck you, you hoe, I don’t want you back

        You thought, you could
        Keep this shit from me, yeah
        You burnt bitch, I heard the story
        You played me, you even gave him head
        Now you asking for me back
        You just another act, look elsewhere
        Cause you done with me

        Fuck what I said it don’t mean shit now
        Fuck the presents might as well throw em out
        Fuck all those kisses they didn’t mean jack
        Fuck you, you hoe, I don’t want you back

        Fuck what I said it don’t mean shit now
        Fuck the presents might as well throw em out
        Fuck all those kisses they didn’t mean jack
        Fuck you, you hoe, I don’t want you back

        You questioned, did I care
        You could ask anyone, I even said
        You were my great one
        Now it’s, over, but I do admit I’m sad.
        It hurts real bad, I can’t sweat that, cause I loved a hoe

        Fuck what I said it don’t mean shit now
        Fuck the presents might as well throw ’em out
        Fuck all those kisses they didn’t mean jack
        Fuck you, you hoe, I don’t want you back………

        I don’t know why, but while reading Max’s comment, this song by Eamon kept playing in my head…

      • Hehehehehe,someone taking on the Clan here and kicking ass,as to merit one long post on the subject in itself.Or should I say two people.I must have missed much past few days.
        Sinnex and Teflondon,una do well.

  7. Good morning ladies and gentlemen, kings and drag queens e.t.c

    Brilliantly written PP and like I always say, I appreciate every effort you put on this blog and everything pertaining articles posted and all that.

    I am a *newbie* when it comes to making comments on this blog but I have been a reader since last year. I do read people’s comments about articles posted on here at some point I got bored and tired of reading same comments again and again (recycled in didferent forms). People kissing butts and licking ass after ass with their comments on issues on here, people tend to want to join the trendsetters, almost like they need a validation from a group of people on here. I got tired of all this and decided to start commenting.
    I fell in love with Chizzie ( and until recently peak, chestnut, McGray, and Sinnex) because it seemed he mostly not always has a different way of seeing things different from the norm on here (which they call hating, and internalized homophobia).
    I studied Accounting, so I am better with figures than with words.. So I may not be as good as certain people when it comes to writing their views and arguing but I beleive I can pass across my point in the most simplest of ways possible.
    Mostly the idea of difference of opinion is everywhere and shouldn’t be a new thing here. I don’t even think it’s worth posting a article or rant if you like. I respect everyone’s comments on here and if I disagree I ignore or just state my arguments appropriately not bashing and stooping low to certain levels I can’t even discribe (best discribed @posh666 level) Lol I’ll get a bashing for that one.. But I am ready to face any consequences.
    Pink panther kindly let people view thier opinions in peace without having to clamp down on anyone that’s not your side or “THE” clans side (trust me there is a Clan on here).
    It’s almost as if I started this “MY OPINION” thing but not because I am a homophobia (like a clan member claimed here; even went further that I shouldn’t be visiting this blog) or the baddest bitch if you will… It’s just that by disagreeing ( even intentionally like I always do) we learn from eachother. Sometimes I know something is not right but i support it anyways because I want the person telling me it’s not write to convince me and hopefully others why it is not right. (In which way I might have learnt something new I didn’t know)
    PP just live and let live. Let us all be ourselves without having to measuring up to certian people’s “idea” of standard.

    Thanks and cheers,
    Out spoken realist

    • No one is going to try and convince you to change your opinion. Its your headache, not theirs. People call you to order when you’re wrong because its wrong to send false message to u suspecting readers of this blog. So every now an then, someone is gonna try and set the records straight. I’ve been called to order here quite a few times, but I didn’t go on and on bickering about it, I simply learnt from it, I suggest you do the same.
      No one comes here looking for people to prey on(actually some people do). If you can’t take a hit, then glance through your comments before posting them, or better still, hold your peace. As long as you keep commenting here, you’ll keep getting replies, both negative and positive depending on what the content of your comment is.

      • Calling people to order could and should be done with class. Reining abuses has become the order of the day and all thid after the well written piece by James asking for some more tolerance within our ranks. Like Peak asked, whatever happened to classic shades sir?

  8. In as much as you usually don’t agree with most of the opinions here, so too are a lot of people here who do, it’s not ass kissing, it’s simply what the person agrees with.

    If you see things from a different perspective than what is the so called popular opinion, say it, and realize that you’ll get a response to that opinion but when that happens don’t turn around and say someone is forcing their opinion on you…the whole point is for us to exchange ideas and learn from it. Learn from it, no one knows it all, after an intellectual exchange, if you were wrong just accept it move on and whining about someone bullying you.

    That being said ,during these exchanges, a lot of harsh words are exchanged and that shii ain’t right. As ridiculous as one’s opinion might be to you, you can disagree with civility and even end up teaching someone something new,instead of just biting someone’s head off. Calling someone names because they don’t agree with you is just not cool.

    There’s nothing to gain from all this hostility…

    #PeaceOut.

      • I think I have found my Minnie Me.
        We all disagree to agree. As for calling people names, I think the goons are meant to be called to order. As far as I am concerned, I haven’t called anyone names. I have just been stating my opinion and I think that Is what Teflondon has been doing.
        I was really surprised how the goons turned their backs on one of their own because he had a differing opinion. It way really hilarious and I couldn’t help but laugh my ass out.

        By the way, I have never insulted any poster here neither have I insulted any OP, I focus on the topic at hand; but if you think you will insult me and expect me to run and bury my head under the sand, then you must be sitting on a long thing….

        PP, you are doing a very good job, so don’t assume that someone is trying to run your blog down. .

  9. This is reminiscent of a prosecuting counsel delivering a judgement in court. Another name for this exercise is abuse of office seeing that you were clearly on one of the divides yesterday and the day before. All you have said is not new from what your camp (i feel cheapened to admit that camps exists)has said before now.You just robbed us of a something read-worthy.In a world where stealing has been removed from the list of corrupt acts,this your action can stand unashamed but let me affirm what you already know. insulting someone as a result of his opinion and advancing a counter view never the same.While the former is idiotic and cowardice the latter is the practice of men of honor.

    • Gad for once, act your age and understand when something is not worded to be contentious but to create an understanding. Sometimes, the way you come with guns blazing makes me wonder when you descended from a sagacious middle aged man to a petty twink. And I’ll always respond to you the way you respond to me. Any day you don’t act your age toward me is the same day I won’t act my age toward you.
      Of course I know you’ll have a condescending retort for this, proof of the first line of my comment. But by all means, have a ball. I’m just going to remain in my ‘camp’ and try to ignore you.

      • Now pinky that is the classiest reproof you have given in a while. I don’t intend to be patronizing but that up there’👆👆👆’ is how to disagree with class. I hope we ALL learn and follow suit if we happen to dissent with someone’s view/comment/opinion. Peace

    • Gad, do you always have to bear arms against PP? All he’s saying is that when you express yourself on KD, people WILL disagree with you. It’s as simple as that. However vehemently is not the issue here. Or are you by any chance saying people should not disagree with other people? Because, you are guilty of that yourself.

      • Mandy,i dont know why you saw my action as a fight against PP.What will i achieve? Dont forget that Pnky is the admin here.He is like a referee,judge,arbiter,umpire,moderator.Just name it.Most times when there are opposing contentions,he clearly takes sides.There were times he joined those who feel they have license to abuse others.That was misconduct.what he is saying in this post is correct to some extent but since he was on a divide of the argument,he lacks the moral ground to say the things he is saying now no matter how apt.lastly my dear,what is bad is bad.the way to disagree with an opinion is not through name-calling.ITS SO WRONG

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