Johnny Depp defends Sauvage ad considered offensive to Native Americans

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PHOTO: Actor Johnny Depp poses on the red carpet as he arrives to receive an homage award at the 45th Deauville US Film Festival, in Deauville, France, Sept. 8, 2019.PlayLoic Venance/AFP/Getty Images
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A couple of weeks after the Internet collectively gasped at the latest Sauvage campaign teaser ad, considered by many to be offensive to Native Americans, Johnny Depp is speaking out to defend the project.

Depp, the face of the campaign for some time now, said that what was released online was just a clip of the full video.

"A teaser obviously is a very concentrated version of images and there were objections to the teaser of the small film," he told The Hollywood Reporter.

He added: "There was never ... any dishonorable [intent]. The film was made with a great respect for the indigenous people not just of North America but all over the world."

In fact, Depp said he thinks "it's a pity that people jumped the gun and made these objections."

The teaser clip Depp was referring to was released in late August and featured Native American extras performing a ceremonial dance and wearing formal cultural attire, while Depp promotes the cologne and the brand.

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Even wilder than before, Johnny Depp is at one with nature, reconnecting with a land where boundaries are made to be pushed. • #diorparfums #diorsauvage #johnnydepp @diorparfums

A post shared by Dior Official (@dior) on Aug 19, 2019 at 9:04am PDT

Reactions on social media were direct and strong.

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"My God," many wrote, while others added, "Why are there still so many ads using Anti-Native Slurs and exploiting Native Americans?"

Some also called out the name Sauvage as a slur toward Native Americans.

Dior swiftly pulled the ad.

The company said in a statement to ABC News: "The Parfums Christian Dior project is a part of AIO's Advance Indigeneity Campaign to change the misperceptions about Native Americans, to share accurate American history, to build awareness about Native Americans as contemporary peoples and to promote Indigenous worldviews. AIO supports Native American art, films, books, and other forms of Indigenous pop culture. Through the Advance Indigeneity Campaign, AIO continues to work at an international level with schools and universities to build innovative curriculum for and by Native peoples."

It closed: "We are very proud of this collaboration with AIO on the new ad campaign for Sauvage."

Depp added in the new interview that the team behind the ad worked with Comanche Nation and other organizations to be careful not to produce something offensive -- although many still found it so.

"It was a film made out of great respect and with great respect and love for the Native American peoples to bring light to them," he said.

ABC News' Lesley Messer contributed to this report.

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