Kim Kardashian Outraged Over Balenciaga Ads Featuring Children Holding Bondage Bears

Kim Kardashian put pressure on fashion brand Balenciaga to take action over their latest controversial ad campaign, which featured children holding teddy bear handbags dressed in what appeared to be bondage gear.

Another campaign for a black and white purse that retails at $3,000 sparked controversy when it was revealed that the photographs purporting to be of a “business environment” included genuine legal documents from a court case about child pornography scattered on a desk.

After receiving tremendous backlash, the high-end fashion label swiftly deleted the offending marketing photos and issued an apology on Instagram. Many people felt it fell short of taking proper accountability. As a well-known face of the brand, Kardashian received criticism for not responding to the controversy as soon as it broke. The brand continued to trend on Twitter for days amid calls for celebrities such as Kardashian, Bella Hadid, and Nicole Kidman to sever ties with the company. On Sunday, Kardashian issued a statement on Twitter addressing the campaigns.

“I have been quiet for the past few days, not because I haven’t been disgusted and outraged by the recent Balenciaga campaigns, but because I wanted an opportunity to speak to their team to understand for myself how this could have happened.”

She said she was “shaken by the disturbing images,” as a mother of four. Kardashian also added that “any attempts to normalize child abuse of any kind should have no place in our society—period.”

Kardashian acknowledged that the brand removed the campaigns and apologized and believes “they understand the seriousness of the issue and will take the necessary measures for this to never happen again.”

Talking about her future with the company, she said that she was currently re-evaluating her relationship with Balenciaga and will take into account “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.”  

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After Kardashian’s tweets, Balenciaga reiterated its apology in an Instagram post but partially blamed external vendors for controversial elements of the campaign.

“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.”

A few days prior, Balenciaga filed a lawsuit against North Six and Nicholas des Jardins, the production company and set designer of the Spring 2023 campaign. Balenciaga’s suit stated that the production company’s “inexplicable acts and omissions [were] malevolent or, at the very least, extraordinarily reckless.” They were also done without the brand’s knowledge. Balenciaga says it will seek $25 million in damages or more for the “false association” between Balenciaga and the “repulsive and deeply disturbing subject of the court decision.”

As for the first campaign, the brand said Balenciaga “made the wrong choice” in featuring children.

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

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The fashion house also listed actions it would take due to what it called “a series of grievous errors.”

“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.”

The agent for North Six and Nicholas des Jardins, Gabriela Moussaieff, told the Washington Post that his client was “being used as a scapegoat,” and that “everyone from Balenciaga was on the shoot and was present on every shot and worked on the edit of every image in post production.” 

Gabriele Galimberti, the photographer who shot the brand’s campaign, took to Instagram to address the “hundreds of hate mails and messages” he received as a result of the photos he took.

“I am not in a position to comment Balenciaga’s choices, but I must stress that I was not entitled in whatsoever manner to neither chose the products, nor the models, nor the combination of the same. As a photographer, I was only and solely requested to lit the given scene, and take the shots according to my signature style. 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 went on to say that he suspects that “any person prone to pedophilia searches on the web and has unfortunately a too easy access to images completely different than mine, absolutely explicit in their awful content.”

“Accusations like these are addressed against wrong targets, and distract from the real problem, and criminals.”

In response to the photo containing the Supreme Court case papers, Galimberti said it was taken on another set by other people and “was falsely associated” with his photos.

The brand has been at the center of several controversies, with the latest surrounding rapper Ye, who was formerly known as Kanye West. Last month Ye, who has collaborated with the brand throughout the years, made antisemitic remarks, causing the brand to cut ties with the musician. 


Kanye West Still Hasn’t Dropped ‘Jesus Is King’ But Fans Aren’t Surprised…

Kanye West is no stranger to controversy. The rapper is known for always speaking his mind even when it will turn the whole world against him. This week, he’s making headlines again for giving fans a “deja vu” moment in terms of when he says he’s going to release an album, and then subsequently not releasing it and going quiet online. 

During the last week of August, Kanye West took to Twitter through his wife’s, Kim Kardashian, account announcing the release of his next album Jesus Is King, which at the time he announced would be dropping in “one month on September 27th.” West even reiterated during one of his Sunday Service performances on September 22nd that the album was going to be dropping on September 27th at midnight…can you guess what happened at midnight on the 27th? Nothing. 

Fans were disappointed, but not surprised, and instead expected West to drop the album the next day at his Sunday Service in Detroit, which was the first service to be held on a Friday, which made fans eager to see if that switch up meant a special announcement was coming; and they weren’t wrong. After the Sunday Service concluded, the Detroit Fox Arena, where the service was held, took to Twitter to announce “Jesus Is King: A Kanye West Experience” an event in which tickets would be completely free. 

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 Choir members perform at Sunday Service during the 2019 Coachella

According to Forbes Magazine’s covering of Detroit’s Sunday Service, “‘Jesus is King: A Kanye West Experience’ had three parts. First, a screening of a mini-doc that detailed West’s foray into architecture. Second, a longer, documentary of Kanye and his Sunday Service choir, The Samples, performing in James Turrell’s Roden Crater (a film that’s received comparisons to Stanley Kubrick). And third: the album.”

Following the Detroit event, fans who attended could only tweet about the music they experienced, as no phones were allowed in the venue during to avoid any leaks. The general consensus from fans was that the album sounded good, but definitely unfinished. A conclusion that had the millions of fans who didn’t attend confused, but again not shocked, since the album was supposed to be released already. As fans grew more and more impatient, Kim Kardashian took to her Instagram story to offer some comfort. 

Kim posted to her Instagram story: “Kanye’s doing a listening session in Chicago tomorrow, then NYC Sunday. He’s dropping the album Sunday. Just a few final tweaks to the mixes.”

During the weekend West performed two other Sunday Services in Chicago and New York City and both events were carbon copies of the Detroit event. A listening party followed by the announcement of the Kanye West Experience. After all the events and announcements, there still wasn’t an album, and it was Monday. Ever since there has been no word on the album from Kanye, Kim, or anyone on Kanye’s team. 

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Kanye West speaks during Sunday Service in New York on September 29

The only new information given was from TMZ, that quoted an unnamed source: “…the album is complete, but Ye keeps tweaking it. Every time he listens, there’s something he wants to change. We’re now told there’s no release date anymore … it’s truly TBD.”

Jesus Is King is set to be a gospel album, which isn’t a shock to fans since the Sunday Services that West has been involved with has been widely popular throughout the country. West has even already dropped merchandise for the album, between that and already hosting multiple listening parties, fans are just overall confused as to why it hasn’t dropped yet. They aren’t shocked though, as West pulled the same type of stunt a year ago with his album Yandhi. In September 2018, West tweeted the announcement of the Yandhi project which was set to be released September 29th, sound familiar? When that day came around West performed on Saturday Night Live, and afterwards, complete silence. 

Yet again, Kim took to Twitter announcing the album would be released on Black Friday, but a few days before that new deadline West told fans, “After performing again [at the Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival], I realize the new album I’ve been working on isn’t ready yet” and it was never discussed again. To this day fans still don’t know what happened to that project and if the tracks on that album had anything to do with the Jesus Is King record. Overall though, fans are left at the bottom of the barrel, scraping and waiting for any new music, but at this rate they wouldn’t be surprised if West just went ahead and announced another new project that would never see the light of day.