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Balenciaga Releases New Statement Amid BDSM Teddy Bear Scandal -- And It Ain't It!

Balenciaga Releases New Statement – And It Ain’t It!

Balenciaga has returned to social media to further address their controversial ad campaigns, but, um, their latest statement isn’t helping their case much.

As you all know by now, the high-fashion house is currently in the hot seat after the internet called them out for sexualizing children in the strange ads that saw young kids cuddling teddy bear purses wearing BDSM attire. Then, another displayed legal docs about a Supreme Court child pornography case, and several other photos included easter eggs concerning historical figures who have had an unusual connection to children and child porn.

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When the scandal first made headlines last week, Balenciaga took to their socials to address the controversy — and to place blame on anyone but themselves! They simply stated (in part):

“We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused. Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign. We have immediately removed the campaign from all platforms.”

While they stayed silent the next several days, Balenciaga has since sued the production company North Six and set designer Nicholas De Jardins and his company over the child pornography law docs being included in the campaign. Now that the luxury brand has had plenty of time to mull over the drama, they have returned with a lengthy statement, once again apologizing for the insensitive imagery while also explaining what went wrong.

In a message posted to the luxury clothing company’s Instagram feed on Monday, they declared:

“We would like to address the controversies surrounding our recent ad campaigns. We strongly condemn child abuse; it was never our intent to include it in our narrative. The two separate ad campaigns in question reflect a series of grievous errors for which Balenciaga takes responsibility.”

The clothing brand went on to explain the two sets of photos that have caused the most outrage online, saying:

“The first campaign, the Gift Collection campaign, featured children with plush bear bags dressed in what some have labelled BDSM-inspired outfits.”

Once again, they’re trying to place blame on the viewers instead of taking full accountability! There was NO other way to interpret those teddy bears. SMH. The statement continued:

“Our plush bear bags and the Gift Collection should not have been featured with children. This was a wrong choice by Balenciaga, combined with our failure in assessing and validating images. The responsibility for this lies with Balenciaga alone.”

Well, that’s a step in the right direction. Finally… The post added:

“The second, separate campaign for Spring 2023, which was meant to replicate a business office environment, included a photo with a page in the background from a Supreme Court ruling ‘United States v. Williams’ 2008 which confirms as illegal and not protected by freedom of speech the promotion of child pornography. All the items included in this shooting were provided by third parties that confirmed in writing that these props were fake office documents. They turned out to be real legal papers most likely coming from the filming of a television drama. The inclusion of these unapproved documents was the result of reckless negligence for which Balenciaga has filed a complaint. We take full accountability for our lack of oversight and control of the documents in the background and we could have done things differently.”

No s**t, Sherlock!

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As if responding to Kim Kardashian’s threat to cut ties with the brand if they don’t make necessary changes, the business then listed exactly how they plan to move forward from this catastrophe — though we have to admit their next steps are very vague. They shared:

“While internal and external investigations are ongoing, we are taking the following actions:

— We are closely revising our organization and collective ways of working. We are reinforcing the structures around our creative processes and validation steps.

— We want to ensure that new controls mark a pivot and will prevent this from happening again.

— We are laying the groundwork with organizations who specialize in child protection and aims at ending child abuse and exploitation.

We want to learn from our mistakes and identify ways we can contribute. Balenciaga reiterates its sincere apologies for the offense we have caused and extends its apologies to talents and partners.”

We better start seeing them take real action ASAP otherwise this is clearly them trying to save their reputation without much effort! It’s one thing to say you’re sorry and want to change, but it’s another thing to prove it. Just saying. You can see the full new statement (below).

Look, we guess it’s good they are apologizing again and taking *some* responsibility, but it’s astonishing to think they’re blaming this massive pattern of sexualizing children and promoting child pornography content on “errors.” An error is a typo, not several photographs for a MASSIVE clothing campaign getting green-lit, produced, and distributed without anyone raising a red flag. We mean, Balenciaga isn’t some small business! At least dozens of execs would have had to sign off on the promo! And yet NO ONE saw a problem until now?! Not to mention, this had to have been intentional on someone’s part, right?! How else does this theme of sexualizing children occur in two separate campaigns, as the biz so specifically pointed out?? It just doesn’t make sense.

Balenciaga is clearly doing damage control right now to keep their talent and partners happy, but do you think they can overcome this scandal?! And are these statements enough to make up for the gross campaigns? Sound OFF (below)!

[Image via Balenciaga]

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Nov 28, 2022 13:38pm PDT