People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, better known as PETA, is facing backlash for its bizarre tribute to the late Karl Lagerfeld.
After news broke on Tuesday that Lagerfeld, the renowned German designer who was the creative director of Chanel, had passed away at the age of 85, PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk issued a statement in a press release and on Twitter that many claimed celebrated the late designer's death.
"Karl Lagerfeld has gone, and his passing marks the end of an era when fur and exotic skins were seen as covetable. PETA sends condolences to our old nemesis's loved ones," Newkirk's statement read.
Karl Lagerfeld has gone, and his passing marks the end of an era when fur and exotic skins were seen as covetable. PETA sends condolences to our old nemesis's loved ones.— PETA (@peta) February 19, 2019
Not long after the statement was posted, Twitter users began slamming the organization and Newkirk for their cold," "cruel," and "appalling" remarks that turned the designer's death into an anti-fur campaign.
"You organization is entitled to your own opinion on wearing furs," one person responded to the statement. "Your cruel condolence to Karl Lagerfeld was better left unsaid. Do you want to diss John the Baptist camel loincloth as well?"
"A bit cold on the announcement of someone's passing. Should care for all living beings, whether you agree with them, or like them," another person replied.
"You should be ashamed of such a low level comment,someone just died. learn to be a little more human and then you can defend your visions," one Twitter user commented. "And don't get confused, i love animals and i am myself a vegetarian — but this is just a cruel/unnecessary tweet for a moment like this."
Another person wrote that PETA's statement was "the most ridiculous tweet ever," pointing out that "Chanel announced that they were stopping using fur and exotic skin… while under the direction of Lagerfeld."
Despite the backlash, PETA, who frequently condemned Lagerfeld for his use of fur, crocodile, lizard, and snake skins, later released a statement addressing Newkirk's comments.
"PETA's President [Ingrid Newkirk] is nearly 70, almost of the same generation as Mr. Lagerfeld and wore fur garments for years. Hence, there is nothing snarky in the remark that fur's time has passed," the statement read. "PETA President [Ingrid Newkirk] writes, 'Grief, with which we are all familiar, is real, so PETA's condolences to anyone who has loved and lost someone are genuine, regardless of the deceased's position on fur.'"
Lagerfeld, whose cause of death is not known, had defended his use of furs and exotic skins in a 2015 interview with The New York Times, stating, "I think a butcher shop is even worse. It's like visiting a murder. It's horrible, no? So I prefer not to know it."
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