Sometimes you put something out into the universe, and sometimes the universe throws it right back at you. If only there was a word for that. Anyway, Chanel is under fire from social media and activists after including a $1,325 boomerang in its collection of new spring and summer accessories, the BBC reports. Beyond the people pointing out that spending more than $1,325 on a boomerang is maybe a stupid thing to do, members and supporters of Australia's Indigenous community are accusing the luxury brand of cultural appropriation. "It's simply a misappropriation of aboriginal culture," the chief executive of the Indigenous Arts Code says.
The boomerang is a cultural artifact of Indigenous Australians, but Indigenous artists have long been undercut by businesses selling cheap knockoff boomerangs made outside Australia, Mashable reports. “Having a luxury brand swoop in, appropriate, sell our technologies, and profit from our cultures for an absurd amount of money is ridiculous and hurtful," activist Nayuka Gorrie tells the Guardian. The Indigenous project officer at the Australian Museum notes the Chanel boomerang costs nearly 10% the average annual income of Indigenous Australians. Chanel responded to the backlash with a statement: "Chanel is extremely committed to respecting all cultures, and regrets that some may have felt offended." Along with boomerangs, the company is also selling beach paddles and tennis rackets for thousands of dollars apiece.