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Balenciaga apologise for 'disgusting' campaign featuring 'child abuse' documents on display

28.11.2022 04:39 AM
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Balenciaga apologise for 'disgusting' campaign featuring 'child abuse' documents on display
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Balenciaga apologise for 'disgusting' campaign featuring 'child abuse' documents on display

Balenciaga has apologized after it sparked backlash over a recent ad campaign depicting children carrying teddy bears dressed in bondage clothing and accompanying it with an image of a Supreme Court opinion in a child pornography case.

And on Tuesday, the Spanish fashion house issued a statement via its Instagram story [feature]. "We deeply apologize for any offense this may have caused our Spring Campaign. Bear bags with babies were never meant to appear in this campaign. We have immediately removed the campaign from all social media platforms," the statement read.

In a photo shoot recently shown on Balenciaga's website as part of its "Toy Story" campaign, child models are seen carrying the house's plush teddy bear bags for the Spring/Summer 2023 Paris Fashion Week collection. However, critics point out that the luxury dolls She appears to be wearing a bondage outfit and BDSM outfits including fishnets, studded leather belts, and collars with padlocks.

Many took to social media to criticize Balenciaga for the controversial photo shoot taken by National Geographic photographer Gabriele Gallimberti.

"I know a lot of Balenciaga's marketing campaigns are shocking, but this is disgusting," one user wrote on Twitter.

Balenciaga also came under fire after many noticed her separate ad campaign in collaboration with Adidas, in which she used an image of the Supreme Court's opinion on child pornography as a prop to promote a handbag.

The court documents on display date back to the 2008 Supreme Court case United States v Williams, which criminalized providing and distributing child pornography. The ruling reaffirmed the constitutionality of the PROTECT Act, a federal law that increases penalties for sexual exploitation and other abuse of children.

One person tweeted, "Balenciaga finally did an interesting photoshoot... for their new product, which included a deliberately hidden court document relating to virtual child pornography."

Others have claimed that the visible section of court documents displayed next to Balenciaga's briefcase refers to another Supreme Court case, Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition. In the 2002 case, the court overturned part of the Child Pornography Prohibition Act of 1996 (CPPA), ruling that virtual child pornography is [a form of] free speech preserved.

In a related context, one critic tweeted, "There is no acceptable reason to expose children to 'BDSM' practices. Court documents in the ad appear to date back to 'Ashcroft v. Free Speech Pact' (search for it) and this is disgusting." Now Balenciaga has removed it. All posts on 'Instagram' and changed the photo on the site.

Another user wrote: "I can't believe Balenciaga did this. Who approved of that? Whose idea was it? Because they honestly should go to jail. This is disturbing and horrible."

In a separate statement posted to the Instagram Story feature, Balenciaga also apologized for including court documents in the ad campaign. The company said: “We apologize for displaying disturbing and disturbing documents in our campaign. We take this matter very seriously and are taking legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set and including unapproved elements in the spring 2023 fashion campaign photo shoot. We strongly condemn any child abuse any way شnd we advocate for the safety and well-being of children.”

On Wednesday, photographer Gabriele Gallimberti responded to the criticism in a statement he posted on his Instagram account.

The photographer said he felt "compelled" to make the statement after he "received hundreds of hate mail because of my photos for the Balenciaga campaign."

He also made it clear that he had "no relation" to the Balenciaga photos "in which the Supreme Court documents appeared."

“I am not in a position to comment on Balenciaga's choices, but I must stress that I have no right whatsoever in the selection of products, models or combinations,” he said. “As a photographer, I am simply asked to light a particular scene and shoot in my own style. As is the case. With commercial photo shoots, the direction of the ad and the choice of subjects to show is not in the hands of the photographer [it is not up to him.] I doubt anyone with pedophile tendencies would search the Internet, and unfortunately they have easy access to images that are very different from the private ones. "B that is outrageously blunt and shameless in its horrific content. Arbitrary governance processes like this target the wrong target, distracting from the real problem and the criminals." He added, "I have nothing to do with the photos of Supreme Court documents that have surfaced. This photo was taken by someone else in another group and has been wrongly linked to my photos."

 

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