November 28, 2013
By Blair Adams
Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper
During the fifth annual Governors Awards in Hollywood recently the Giorgio Armani team—known for their sleek and unusual fashions—couldn’t tell the difference between a well-known female actress—and a male actor in a “they-all-look-alike” gaffe.
On Nov. 18, stars walked the red carpet, which has historically been linked to a time for celebrities to show off their tailor-made apparel. Alfre Woodard was labeled Idris Elba—a male star—in a caption on its Instagram account triggering howls on Twitter.
“Idris Elba posing in a gorgeous Giorgio #Armani dress at the 5th Annual Governors Award,” the luxury fashion house posted on Twitter when Woodard walked the red carpet and posed for cameras—wearing their gown.
Armani quickly deleted the mistake, but not before several cyberspace followers noticed the error, especially #Black Twitter.
Noting that it was a woman gracing the red carpet in a black, cap-sleeve dress, on-line critics said the confusion between the two was offensive.
According to Rolling Out—a Black entertainment website, “the mistake, which was highly offensive considering that Woodard was mistaken not only for another Black entertainer, but for a man.”
On Instagram, followers posted replies suggesting that incorrect name was embarrassing and a fashion line that held in such a high regard, should have known who she was and not messed up somebody’s name.
Therealqueenofengland posted, “this is seriously embarrassing. Of course they can’t tell one Black person from another. Even if one is a man and this is clearly a woman. Help yourself #armani. Google exists for idiots like the person who runs your IG.”
That same evening, the Armani folks, in another caption gaffe, reportedly labeled a picture of Elba with actress Naomie Harris erroneously, indicating that Harris and Elba are a romantic pair, according to The Grio. It is untrue. Harris is Elba’s co-star in a movie about South African icon Nelson Mandela.