There is mounting fury over the silence of Hollywood’s liberal elite over the multiple child imagery scandals enveloping Balenciaga.
Among those who are yet to condemn the fashion house are models and brand ambassadors Bella Hadid and Nicole Kidman, who both starred in the controversial Spring ’23 campaign that has now been pulled from the company’s website and is the source of hot debate in the fashion world.
Neither starlet has commented publicly on the fact that Balenciaga used toddler models in a holiday campaign shoot to advertise handbags styled like teddy bears dressed in bondage gear, nor have they remarked on the inclusion of a SCOTUS child porn ruling in the background of a shot from their shoot.
They are also yet to address a prominently placed book in another image, which celebrates the work of Michael Borremans – an artist whose work includes sadistic depictions of naked, castrated toddlers.
Kim Kardashian, the brand’s biggest ambassador and not coincidentally one of the most famous women in the world, said she is ‘re-evaluating’ her relationship with the fashion house in light of the scandal, but she stopped short of distancing herself from the brand for good.
Nicole Kidman, shown left walking in Balenciaga’s show in Paris last month, is yet to address the controversy. Last night, she attended the theater in New York and uploaded a photo from the performance on Instagram (right), ignoring questions from fans about the scandal
Bella Hadid in the Balenciaga Spring ’23 campaign for its collaboration with Adidas. She is yet to comment on the multiple child imagery scandals engulfing the brand
French actress Isabelle Huppert is shown posing in front of a book by artist Michael Borremans whose work includes depictions of naked, castrated toddlers
A chorus of other stars who regularly attend Balenciaga shows as VIP guests, pose in ad campaigns and gush over creative director Demna Gvasalia, are also yet to make any kind of statement.
On Instagram, Nicole Kidman – who starred in the Spring ’23 campaign – ignored the controversy to instead upload a photo of herself at the theatre.
Bella Hadid, who also starred in the campaign, shared tributes to the late designer Virgin Abloh, who died exactly one year ago, but she did not comment on the controversy, nor did she respond to inquiries from DailyMail.com.
Representatives for Isabelle Huppert, who appears in two photos from the campaign in front of the Borremans book, did not respond to inquiries either.
They are not alone in their continued support of the brand.
Kylie Jenner and Khloe Kardashian, who attended the Balenciaga show in Paris last month, are yet to make any kind of comment.
Euphoria actress Alexa Demie is yet to remove an ad campaign that she shot for the brand from her Instagram feed, despite growing outrage among her fans.
Many are now calling out the apparent hypocrisy among a group of liberal celebrities, who have been quick to disavow and cancel others – namely conservatives – for different offenses.
‘Notice how not a single bank has dropped Balenciaga? Culture will cancel a canned food company for their CEO voting Red, but not a fashion brand promoting child pornography,’ said conservative activist.
More silence: Balenciaga darlings Kylie Jenner and Khloe Kardashian sit front row at shows and attend the brands afterparties as VIP guests. Neither has commented on the child imagery scandal. They are photographed at the Paris Fashion Week show last month
Salma Hayek’s husband Francois Pinault is the CEO of Kering, Balenciaga’s parent group. She continues to support the fashion house on social media, despite the turmoil. Kering has not issued a statement on the controversy
Euphoria actress Alexa Demie continues to promote the brand on Instagram. Above, her campaign ad from August, which remains at the top of her feed, despite growing disgust among fans
‘Disgusted’, but not distanced: Kim Kardashian says she is ‘re-evaluating’ her relationship with Balenciaga, but she is yet to completely denounce the brand or cut ties
THE BALENCIAGA SCANDAL: BONDAGE BEARS, CHILD PORN DOCS AND AN ARTIST KNOWN FOR DEPICTING NAKED KIDS
The Bondage Bears Christmas campaign
The scandal erupted when Balenciaga released its 2022 Holiday ad campaign that featured children posing with its Plush Toy Bag. The bags look like teddy bears and are dressed in BDSM gear.
In the photo shoot, the kids also appeared surrounded by empty wine and champagne glasses.
The distinctly adult themes immediately troubled many who asked why children had ever been used.
Balenciaga ignored the scandal at first and seemingly allowed the photographer who was involved, Gabriele Galimberti, to take the heat.
He released a statement saying he had no control over the content of the shoot and eventually, Balenciaga released its own statement agreeing with him and taking responsibility for the campaign.
It has now been pulled from the internet.
The hidden child porn documents
After the BDSM bears fiasco, eagle-eyed critics started examining the rest of Balenciaga’s campaigns closely.
They soon discovered that in the background of an image from the Spring ’23 campaign was a printout of a Supreme Court ruling on whether or not internet child porn can be legally considered free speech.
On the back of the bears scandal, many critics said it pointed to a troubling pattern within Balenciaga.
Balenciaga was quick to blame North Six, a production company that helped arrange the shoot, for the inclusion of those documents.
They claimed that they entrusted all of the props from the photoshoot to North Six, and that their team was assured everything that was included was fake.
The troubling book of artist whose work depicts naked, castrated toddlers
Balenciaga is yet to answer for the inclusion of a book by Michael Borremans in the background of two of the images from the Spring ’23 campaign.
Borremans is a Belgian painter whose work includes a troubling 2017 series called Fire From The Sun.
It depicts naked toddlers – some of them castrated – playing in a group and at times alone.
Lawyers for the brand are yet to address DailyMail.com’s questions about how the book ended up on the photoshoot.
In this image from Balenciaga’s scrapped Spring ’23 campaign, Isabelle Huppert sits in front of a stack of books including one that celebrates Michael Borremans, a Belgian painter whose work is known to include depictions of castrated toddlers
Borremans’ other work includes his 2017 series Fire From The Sun, which features castrated toddlers and babies holding what look like severed limbs, while playing together nude in a large group
Misan Harriman, chair of London’s Southbank Centre and a photographer, uploaded a video to Twitter where he urged those in the spotlight to speak out.
‘The average man and woman need to see leaders in the industry, stakeholders in the industry, immediately call out the abuse of children in this industry. This should rise above the parties you’re attending in this winter season and the shows you’re going to.
‘This moment is on you – you have to decide whether you can know that children are not being protected by the industry that feeds you – or have polite indifference,’ he said.
In the UK, Nigel Farage, former politician and TV host, asked why the scandal wasn’t receiving more attention from the media.
Growing outrage: Many are calling on the stars who continue to associate with Balenciaga to distance themselves from the brand
‘We live in cancel culture, but only if you have conservative opinions. If you’re on the left, and you endorse pedophilia, everybody stays schtum. It’s disgusting,’ he said.
Others are questioning why Apple, which has threatened to remove Twitter from its App Store, hasn’t deleted Balenciaga’s ‘in black’ app.
‘Apple is now limiting the use of airdrop in China after protestors were using it to communicate. Seeing Apple side with the CCP tells you exactly what kind of company they are.
‘Meanwhile Balenciaga’s app is still available to download…’ said Bitcoin investor Laya Heilpern.
Yesterday, Balenciaga tried to clear up the scandals with a statement in which it apologized for its BDSM bears campaign, but blamed the other shoot on a design production company.
Demna, its revered creative director, continues to repost that statement on social media but he is yet to offer any of his own.
The brand is yet to address the inclusion of Michael Borremans’ book in the shoot.
Borremans’ 2017 work, Fire From The Sun, is a series of disturbing depictions of toddlers who are smeared in blood and some of them have been castrated.
Those images emerged yesterday to the disgust of fans, but are yet to be addressed.
Balenciaga’s latest statement acknowledges the teddy bears scandal, which it takes responsibility for, and the SCOTUS child porn ruling being included in another photo but it makes no mention of the Borremans book