Entertainment

Balenciaga Blames BDSM Children’s Ad on Production Company, Files $25 Million Lawsuit

Fashion house Balenciaga has filed a $25 million lawsuit against the company that produced their controversial ad featuring BDSM teddy bears and a child pornography ruling.

Source: WWD / Getty

According to TMZ, the luxury brand filed suit against North Six Inc. and set designer Nicholas Des Jardin for positioning a document from a US Supreme Court decision on “virtual child porn” laws within the ad.

The document’s inclusion was particularly disturbing considering the campaign highlighted two young children posing with teddy bears wearing BDSM-styled outfits.

The filing does not mention the bears’ bondage gear in any form although the photos of the children holding the stuffed animals were enough to make stomachs churn.

The Spanish mega brand claims North Six and Des Jardins added the images of the child pornography court docs without their approval – labeling it “malevolent or, at the very least, extraordinarily reckless”.

The Manhattan Supreme court summons alleges Balenciaga is “[seeking] redress for extensive damages defendants caused in connection with an advertising campaign Balenciaga hired them to produce.”

“As a result of Defendants’ misconduct, members of the public, including the news media, have falsely and horrifically associated Balenciaga with the repulsive and deeply disturbing subject of the court decision. Defendants are liable to Balenciaga for all harm resulting from this false association.”

After the ads debuted during Paris Fashion Week to showcase the company’s spring/summer 2023 collection, the brand was flooded with vitriol via social media.

Balenciaga quickly pulled the ads and issued an apology on Instagram.

“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.”

Why would the brand think it was acceptable to have kids holding these sexually suggestive bears to begin with?

The brand concluded the statement,

“We strongly condemn abuse of children in any form. We stand for children’s safety and well-being”.

What about the photographer Gabriele Gamlimberti who took the controversial photos of the bizarre bear ad? The fashion brand and producers aren’t the only parties under fire as he too faces intense public scrutiny for his role. In a statement released on Instagram, he says he had no say in the “direction of the campaign and the choice of the objects displayed.”

Rambling rapper, Kanye West also gave his two cents in a recent interview with paps as he left a Messianic church. He claims,

“This just shows you all celebrities are controlled. You don’t see no celebrities talking about the Balenciaga situation.”

He continued,

“Don’t let them influence you in anyway because they’re controlled by the people who really influence the world. There is no such thing as a celebrity influencer. All these people…they’re not serving God. If they serve God then believe what they’re talking about. We’re holding the Christian Christ principals first.”

Even if Balenciaga wins the lawsuit, much of the public still finds the brand guilty of associating children with sex.

Was the fashion company purposely playing in our faces and got caught or was it simply piss poor judgement?

That’s for you to decide.



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