Kim Kardashian Slammed for Balenciaga Campaign That Shows Children In BDSM

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for ULTA Beauty / KKW Beauty

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Kim Kardashian was slammed after a Balenciaga campaign showed children holding teddy bears in BDSM garments. The shocking campaign featured included Balenciaga’s products and a legible US Supreme Court document about child pornography.

Balenciaga Published Photos of Little Girls, BDSM Teddy Bears, and Child Pornography Court Documents

Balenciaga released a series of photos that included two separate photos of little girls standing on beds. The girls were staring straight at the camera and holding teddy bears dressed in BDSM bondage straps. Included in the series of photos were pictures of an unkept desk, whereupon Balenciaga purses and accessories could be seen along with an assortment of documents.

But the documents themselves weren’t just any pieces of paper. Of all the business documents in the world, whoever set up the photos chose to use a Supreme Court document about virtual child pornography. Specifically, it was a Court opinion on the United States v. Williams.

Balenciaga Apologized But Influencers Kim Kardashian, Bella Hadid Were Silent

Together with the children holding the teddy bears in leather harnesses, many were righteously outraged at the fashion brand. But despite the public’s outrage, not one affiliated public figure has joined in condemning Balenciaga. This includes Kim Kardashian and Bella Hadid.

Hadid’s Instagram had also published a series of Balenciaga photos during the fiasco and then they were deleted. But Hadid has not made a public comment yet.

Balenciaga quickly removed the campaign photos from its Instagram account after public outcry. But it kept the photos in its stories and added an apology note.

“We apologize for displaying unsettling documents in our campaign,” the note read. “We take this matter very seriously and are taking legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set and including unapproved items for our Spring 23 campaign photoshoot.” The note added that they “strongly condemn abuse of children in any form. We stand for children safety and well-being.”

Another note posted to Balenciaga’s Instagram stories said, “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.”

Kim Kardashian Raked Over Coals Because She Didn’t Speak Out Immediately

Kardashian was slammed on her Instagram account for not speaking up immediately. Instead, she posted a photo of her three youngest kids, Chicago, Saint, and Psalm, soundly sleeping, along with the caption, “nothing better than these snuggles.” Underneath the photo, she was absolutely scorched by her followers.

“Yet so many parents are denied this thanks to companies like Balenciaga!”

“Still waiting Kimberly. What you have to say in regards to Balenciaga??????”

“Address balenciaga Kim. Kids little like yours sexually exploited and you’re silent?”

“Are you going to buy all your nieces and nephews a Balenciaga bear for Christmas!”

“Coincidence and timing of this post.”

“Your silence is defeaning (sic) on Balenciaga.”

“You’re done if you aren’t going to detach from balenciga (sic).”

“UNFOLLOWED!!!!!!!!Your silence said all I needed to know.”

“Using her kid again . Because she was called out.”

Kardashian Finally Spoke Out a Few Days Later, Is Re-Evaluating Relationship With Balenciaga

Thousands of comments urged Kim Kardashian to speak out against Balenciaga, but she did not. Instead, she waited until Sunday and finally spoke out on Twitter.

“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 wrote in a multi-part thread.

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.”

“I appreciate Balenciaga’s removal of the campaigns and apology,” Kardashian continued. “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.”

Kim Kardashian also added that she is re-evaluating her relationship with Balenciaga.

“As for my future with Balenciaga, I am currently re-evaluating my relationship with the brand, basing it off 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.”

Balenciaga Is Suing the Set Designer, Company Responsible for Photo Shoot

A couple days after the horrifying campaign photos were published and deleted, Balenciaga filed a $25 million lawsuit against the producers responsible. The suit has been brought against North Six, Inc. and set designer Nicholas Des Jardins. The case is being brought “to seek redress for extensive damages defendants caused in connection with an advertising campaign Balenciaga hired them to produce.”

The lawsuit alleges malevolence and/or recklessness on North Six and Des Jardins’ part. The complaint, filed in the Manhattan Supreme Court, states that the use of the Supreme Court child pornography documents was “malevolent or, at the very least, extraordinarily reckless.”

“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,” the complaint states. “Defendants are liable to Balenciaga for all harm resulting from this false association.”

Photographer Gabriele Galimberti Is Receiving Hate, Issued Statement

A photographer who works with Balenciaga, Gabriele Galimberti, has also been getting blamed. However, as can be seen in the Manhattan Supreme Court summons, he is not being blamed by Balenciaga. Galimberti issued a public statement on his Instagram that he is not associated with the photos.

“Following the hundreds of hate mails and messages I received as a result of the photos I took for the Balenciaga campaign, I feel compelled to make this statement,” Galimberti wrote.

“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…. Also, I have no connection with the photo where a Supreme Court document appears. That one was taken in another set by other people and was falsely associated with my photos.”

It will be interesting to see where this all goes. It’s atrocious that such photos actually made it to Balenciaga’s Instagram account. Do they not have editors? Regardless, it’s good to see that Kim Kardashian finally said something. We’re still waiting for Bella Hadid.

Read More: Martha Stewart Is Being Blamed For Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson’s Break Up

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