The huge mistake was quickly picked up by Twitter users
Iconic fashion brand Burberry has apologised for confusing rapper Riz Ahmed with BAFTA winner Dev Patel on Twitter. Burberry dressed both celebrities for the prestigious gala event.
The luxury fashion powerhouse Burberry took to Twitter on the evening of Sunday 12th February 2017 with the intention of congratulating British Asian actor Dev Patel on his BAFTA win for his recent role in the film Lion.
Things turned awkward very quickly for Burberry as they posted a picture of rapper and actor Riz Ahmed, of Four Lions fame. And not Dev Patel.
Burberry swiftly deleted the infamous tweet that confused Riz Ahmed with Dev Patel. But as ever, Twitter users took a screenshot of Burberry’s mistake as evidence. The tweet has sparked debates of whether actors of colour will forever be subject to these kinds of mistakes.
Twitter users quickly picked up the huge mistake. It led to wide derision and even accusations of racism. Tweets mocked Burberry suggesting that: “All Asian men look the same.”
Someone needs to be sacked at Burberry…. pic.twitter.com/eqchEVSNKr
— Lizzie Francke (@lizziefrancke) February 12, 2017
Yet another example of "people of colour all looking the same" @Burberry you should be ashamed of yourself.Unbelievable! #burberry #DevPatel https://t.co/sD3UVgOStV
— Syrus Lowe (@SyrusLoweDown) February 12, 2017
Burberry has since “apologised unreservedly” for the gaffe and replaced the original tweet with an image of Dev Patel.
A Burberry spokesperson said:
“This was a mistake that should not have happened and was corrected immediately.”
However, the initial tweet mixing up Riz Ahmed with Dev Patel has already caused damage to the popular British fashion brand across the Internet.
It’s even more embarrassing for Burberry considering that both figures have been prominent in British and world cinema for some time.
Dev Patel has been on TV screens since his breakthrough role on Skins. He then shot to worldwide fame for his loveable role in Slumdog Millionaire. Riz Ahmed has starred in a number of independent films over the years, Four Lions and Trishna. Most recently, he appears in the latest Star Wars film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Ahmed has also been using his award ceremony appearances to raise funds for the Syrian refugee crisis through his social media pages.
Only Burberry know if this tweet was an innocent mistake or if it was a careless mix-up because both actors were brown-skinned. But the damage from the tweet could potentially be a big price to pay for the fashion house.