Kim Kardashian's delayed response to the controversial Balenciaga holiday campaign was not well received late last month. The high-end fashion brand was criticized for releasing photos featuring children holding teddy bears dressed in bondage great, as many felt they sexualized young children. Balenciaga later apologized and wiped the campaign from its social media pages. Kardashian called the campaign "disturbing," but her fans felt she did not do enough because she has not completely cut ties with Balenciaga.
In her Nov. 27 statement, Kardashian said she stayed silent on the subject until after she spoke with Balenciaga executives to "understand for myself" how the campaign happened. "As a mother of four, I have been shaken by the disturbing images," Kardashian continued. "The safety of children must be held with the highest regard and any attempts to normalize child abuse of any kind should have no place in our society – period."
The Kardashians star went on to say she appreciated Balenciaga removing the campaign and apologizing. "In speaking with them, I believe they understand the seriousness of the issue and will take the necessary measures for this to never happen again," she wrote.
While some of Kardashian's followers called on her to completely cut ties with Balenciaga over the controversy, she would not commit to doing so. "As for my future with Balenciaga, I am currently re-evaluating my relationship with the brand, basing it off their willingness to accept accountability for something that should have never happened to begin with – & the actions I am expecting to see them take to protect children," she wrote. Some fans were still unhappy with her response to the situation, as seen below.
Fans want Kardashian to cut ties with Balenciaga
Kim, you are too closely entangled not to pull the plug on your partnership with Balenciaga. #balenCSAM— Carrie Goldberg (@cagoldberglaw) November 28, 2022
The controversial Balenciaga campaign featured children with teddy bear bags covered in bondage gear. The images also featured references to a Supreme Court decision criminalizing child sexual abuse images. Balenciaga eventually pulled the ads and apologized, reports Insider.prevnext
'No concept of the impact this has on victims'
No. They were promoting child 👏🏽 sexual 👏🏽 abuse 👏🏽. How on EARTH can you say they "understand the severity" and still work with them, especially as a mom?? This shows how sheltered you are. No concept of the impact this has on victims. Disgusting.— Angry Asian 🥟 (@wheezy_dobby) November 28, 2022
"We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused," the brand said. "Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign." Balenciaga also said the brand condemns "abuse of children in any form."prevnext
'The fact you're even giving them the time of day...is absolutely deplorable.'
I don't care if a company 'takes accountability' for endorsing child p*rnography, there is no coming back from that. The fact you're even giving them the time of day to 'discuss the issue' is absolutely deplorable.— Bexy Beatdown (@bexybeatdown) November 28, 2022
Kardashian has been a big Balenciaga supporter, wearing their designs for major events and even appearing in their previous campaigns. On the day the brand apologized, Kardashian even posted a photo of herself wearing Balenciaga's collaboration with Adidas. The Instagram post was instantly flooded with comments from fans wondering when or if she would speak out against the holiday campaign.prevnext
Pretty pathetic and weak response to an intentional and lewd advertisement.— Chase Brody McNary (@cbmcnary) November 28, 2022
The photos at the center of the controversy were taken by Gabriele Galimberti, who also issued an apology on Nov. 23. "As a photographer, I was only and solely requested to lit the given scene, and take the shots according to my signature style," Galimberti wrote. "As usual for a commercial shooting, the direction of the campaign and the choice of the objects displayed are not in the hands of the photographer." Galimberti also stressed that she did not take the photo in which a Supreme Court document appeared.prevnext
'Can you list 5 things you want to see them do'
Okay but can you list 5 things you want to eee them do before continuing to wear the products? Let’s be transparent here since this was a public campaign. Balenciaga is known for approving thought provoking incendiary campaigns.— AA (@annalesiaM_xo) November 28, 2022
Balenciaga later filed a $25 million lawsuit against North Six, Inc., set designer Nicholas Des Jardins, and Des Jardins' company over the photo with the Supreme Court document, reports the New York Post. The document did not mention the bondage-wearing teddy bears.prevnext
'Sever TIES and move on'
Sever TIES and move on, any other house would love to have you and dress you.— Luiz Loera (@lloera2007) November 28, 2022
Balenciaga also had a relationship with Kardashian's ex-husband, Kanye "Ye" West, until October. That month, the company severed all ties with the rapper after he published antisemitic posts on social media. "Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist," the company said.prev