Cameron Diaz hangbag controversy

  1. Cameron Diaz apologizes for Maoist bag

    June 25, 2007, 2:55 am PDT

    [​IMG] Associated Press

    LIMA, Peru -
    Cameron Diaz apologized Sunday for carrying a bag with a political slogan that evoked painful memories in Peru.
    The voice of Princess Fiona in the animated "Shrek" films visited the Incan city of Machu Picchu in Peru's Andes on Friday carrying an olive green bag emblazoned with a red star and the words "Serve the People" printed in Chinese, perhaps Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong's most famous political slogan.
    The bags are marketed as fashion accessories in some world capitals, but in Peru the slogan evokes memories of the Maoist Shining Path insurgency that fought the government in the 1980s and early 1990s in a bloody conflict that left nearly 70,000 people dead.
    "I sincerely apologize to anyone I may have inadvertently offended. The bag was a purchase I made as a tourist in China and I did not realize the potentially hurtful nature of the slogan printed on it," Diaz said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press.
    On Friday, one prominent Peruvian human rights activist said Diaz should have been a little more aware of local sensitivities when picking her accessories.
    In Sunday's statement, the star of "There's Something About Mary" said the purpose of her visit was to participate in a television show that celebrates Peru's culture. The actress has been in Peru as part of "4 REAL," a Canadian TV production that focuses on young community leaders around the world.
    "I'm sorry for any people's pain and suffering and it was certainly never my intention to reopen what I now know is a painful wound in this country's history," she said.
    Diaz also spoke of Peruvians' beauty and warmth and said she wished "for their continued healing."

  2. Oh dear! Poor Cam. I'm sure she didn't even know what it said!

    If she had carried her lovely Tods bag this wouldn't have happened!
  3. Obviously this was a total mistake on Cameron's part and I hope that her apology is accepted. I am sure she learned a valuable lesson. I know I did...
  4. How sad... just one more reason I'm glad to not be in the public eye. I just can't live with the pressure of being watched.
  5. ^^ You said it! :yes:
  6. Yeah I am not a fan of hers at all, but I do think this was an honest mistake and it must suck to be famous when stuff like this happens. Hopefully her apology will be accepted as being heartfelt.
  7. ^^^:yes:
  8. Wow... I feel badly for her. That's a true mistake if there ever was one. Surely someone in her party that was aware of local culture should have alerted her!
  9. ooops! can't say I would not have made the same mistake somehow. someone should have indeed given her a heads up. thats why I never wear clothing with "print" other than english - or I at least have to know the meaning of the symbols or words. you never know what your walking around with on your chest - could be insulting to people.
  10. i agree!
  11. She honestly didn't know and she apologized for it.

    This is exactly why it's recommended to research a country's customs and cultures before you visit. (Also, research any gifts.)

  12. I could not agree more! I am super paranoid about accidently wearing something that might be insulting in a language I don't know... I only speak English so that's a lot I don't know lol! I used to have a friend who spoke Chinese translate for me on some of my clothes. Turns out all that I had were shirts that said "Love" and "Luck". I find a lot of those shock value shirts offensive and don't want to be the one offending! In Cameron's case, she needed to know the history of country she was in, and to make an association with the phrase on her bag- that would be tough! Like somebody said, a person in her party familiar with the history should have made her aware, but they probably didn't speak Chinese either!!