Zadig & Voltaire Founder Thierry Gillier Apologizes (Sort Of) For Anti-Chinese Comments
(FlynetPictures) The Zadig & Voltaire store in West Hollywood, CA.
Late last month, we brought you the story about how French retailer Zadig & Voltaire's founder Thierry Gillier pre-emptively banned Chinese tourists from ever staying at the company's soon-to-open Paris hotel—and how, after the quote appeared in WWD on the morning of September 28th, the trade paper altered the quote later in the day to protect Gillier:
That same day, we contacted Zadig & Voltaire's US PR representatives for an official statement, hoping for some sort of mea culpa—and instead, received this in reply:
No statement besides the fact that it's a total misunderstanding between him and the journalist. The entire purpose of the hotel is for international travelers and the brand has been working in China and with people in China for many years.Well, okay, that's sort of a non-statement statement. It would have been more believable had it been backed up with a correction or statement on the WWD site.
Fast forward ten days later and Gillier has finally issued a semi-apology for his statements—not at all denying that he made the statements, but apologizing for hurting people's feelings. The Telegraph reports:
In a statement released yesterday, Mr Gillier said the remarks had been taken out of context and apologised for any offence caused.So yeah, Gillier did say that thing about banning Chinese tourists, he didn't really mean it, and he's sorry he hurt the feelings of 20 percent of the world's population.
"These reported words do not reflect either my line of thought or my ethics," he said.
"My remarks were doubtless clumsy and, taken out of their context, I understand they might have hurt my friends from China, France or elsewhere, and I am deeply sorry for that."
And we're still wondering why WWD changed the quote post-publication—since Gillier is now copping to saying it.
What do you think of Gillier's apology? Sound off in the comments!