Using their voices. As Balenciaga continues to face backlash over an ad for its Spring/Summer 2023 collection, celebrities are speaking out against the brand — and taking action.
Jason Aldean‘s wife, Brittany Aldean, shared her perspective via Instagram on Wednesday, November 30. The 34-year-old North Carolina native uploaded — and subsequently deleted — a photo of herself holding bags full of Balenciaga products and seemingly tossing them in the garbage. “It’s trash day @balenciaga,” she captioned her post.
Brittany’s social media activity comes shortly after the fashion brand issued a public statement regarding the campaign for its upcoming line. The ad featured children holding purses — which were designed to look like teddy bears in BDSM-inspired apparel — while surrounded by other Balenciaga items. In additional pictures, which did not include the kids, seemingly showed some pages from a Supreme Court case on child pornography.
The controversial marketing prompted an uproar on social media, and the brand pulled the images amid the scandal. “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,” read a statement shared via Balenciaga’s Instagram Story on November 23. “We apologize for displaying unsettling documents in our campaign. … We strongly condemn abuse of children in any form. We stand for children’s safety and well-being.”
Several days later, the company further addressed the decisions that led to the photo shoot in a lengthier statement. “This was a wrong choice by Balenciaga, combined with our failure in assessing and validating images. The responsibility for this lies with Balenciaga alone,” an Instagram memo asserted. “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.”
Along with Brittany, Lala Kent voiced her concerns with the ad before it was pulled. The Bravo star, 32, asserted via her Instagram Story that she doesn’t own any Balenciaga clothing and encouraged the brand to “do better.”
As the controversy blew up, Kim Kardashian was called out for her close working relationship with the fashion house. She broke her silence on the “disturbing” photo shoot on November 27.
“As a mother of four, I have been shaken by the disturbing images. 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,” she tweeted. “I appreciate Balenciaga’s removal of the campaigns and apology. 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.”
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Scroll down to see how celebrities are responding to the Balenciaga advertising controversy: