Gucci pulls 'blackface sweater' from stores after complaints

ROME (AP) — Gucci has apologized for a wool sweater after complaints that it resembled blackface makeup and said the item had been pulled from its online and physical stores.

It was the latest case of an Italian fashion house having to apologize for cultural or racial insensitivity.

In a statement posted on Twitter on Wednesday, Gucci said it was committed to diversity and considered it a "fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected and at the forefront of every decision we make."

The turtleneck black wool balaclava sweater covers the nose and includes a red cut-out for the mouth. It was ridiculed on social media as insensitive and racist, at a time when the U.S. is grappling with cases of old photos of politicians with their faces blackened.

RELATED: Users respond to Kim Kardashian's 'blackface' controversy

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Users respond to Kim Kardashian's 'blackface' controversy
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Users respond to Kim Kardashian's 'blackface' controversy
https://t.co/8quLJcq6Ai via @TeenVogue. I really wish people would stop w/the dumb shit... Tanned and blackface ARE not the same..
@KimKardashian You use a filter on a picture and people accuse you of doing blackface... if you lighten a picture,… https://t.co/ZtrVIyAzTp
To those who never shine a light on racism ever but always post a video/tweets to defend Kim Kardashian black face ad... eye see you.
Kim Kardashian On Blackface Controversy: ‘I Was Really Tan’ https://t.co/cfz4xAOWkx https://t.co/tw3eSmbtf6
I'm not afraid to say it. This IS NOT BLACKFACE. @KimKardashian it's lighting used to accentuate features. Stop cri… https://t.co/8Edq314c1e
@KimKardashian your blackface photo is not offensive by no means. I support you to the fullest. Much love! #KKWBeauty #KimKardashian #haters
People going after @KimKardashian for being Blackface but not going after the person who edited the photo to make h… https://t.co/ll3yqcCVXY
@KimKardashian what you did was not blackface
@KimKardashian being #blackface is like white women saying Black Women #WhiteHair #culturalappropriation #doublestandards
@KimKardashian You use a filter on a picture and people accuse you of doing blackface... if you lighten a picture,… https://t.co/ZtrVIyAzTp
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In December, Prada said it was no longer selling a line of accessories that featured a character with brown skin and exaggerated red lips after complaints they resembled blackface.

And last year, Dolce & Gabbana canceled a Shanghai runway show and apologized after complaints that an advertising campaign featuring a Chinese model trying to eat pizza, spaghetti and a cannoli with chopsticks was culturally insensitive.

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