Screenshot: Did WWD Alter a Quote to Protect Zadig & Voltaire After Founder's Racist Comments?
(Fame FlyNet) The Zadig & Voltaire store in West Hollywood, CA
This morning, we brought you the story about Zadig & Voltaire's new hotel, which is set to open in Paris in 2014—and company founder Thierry Giller's s racist statements that were printed in WWD: "We are going to select guests. It won't be open to Chinese tourists, for example."
Pretty bad, huh? Guess he didn't think it was a big deal to slag off 20 percent of the world's population—and he probably didn't consider how it would impact Zadig & Voltaire's business in Hong Kong (which is, last time we checked, full of Chinese people).
The story about Gillier's racist comments were picked up all over the internet—at Vogue UK, on The Cut, at Fashionista—and while no response from Zadig & Voltaire was forthcoming, it looks like someone at HQ did notice, eventually.
But instead of issuing a public mea culpa, Zadig & Voltaire went to the source, WWD, and convinced the trade paper to change the original quote. The WWD story now reads: "We are going to select guests. It won't be open to busloads of tourists, for example." There is no indication on the WWD story page that the story or quote was altered from its original.
So that's where screenshotting comes in handy. We've got a screenshot of the original story and a screenshot of the altered version:
Nice work WWD. Sneaky.
Our questions for WWD: Why did the original quote not set off any alarms? Why was it presented, without commentary or further elaboration, in the story? Is it not a big deal to WWD that the founder of a major international clothing brand wholesale dismisses and turns his nose up at Chinese people—again, 20 percent of the earth's population? Is racism just not a big deal for the trade paper? Furthermore, is it common practice at WWD to alter quotes in stories if put under pressure by companies and publicists?
Any speculation welcome in the comments section, below.