Protests against Balenciaga emerge in dozens of cities over child-sexualization campaign

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


Protestors around the world organized near Balenciaga retailers over the weekend, all still infuriated by the fashion brand’s pro-child-sexualization ad campaign.

As reported by the Daily Wire, the protests took place in London, New York, Beverly Hills, Nashville, and about 16 other major cities. 

“We are mothers, we are consumers, and we are taking a stand: stop putting profit over our children,” the Daily Wire quoted Lucy Riles, an organizer with Mom Army, as saying at the Nashville protest. Riles added that she was “fed up with the sexualization, exploitation, indoctrination, child mutilation, and all these agendas that are happening right now in this country and the climate.”

In a rare moment of solidarity, people of all political stripe have rallied in agreement that Balenciaga’s so-called “Toy Stories” campaign — in which child models were photographed posing with bags designed to look like teddy bears in bondage gear — was unacceptable even in a mostly divided United States. 

The campaign also featured a photo in which one can see the front page of the 2008 Supreme Court decision that resulted in the upholding of severe penalties for child pornography as well as Congress’ more narrowly defined definition of what constituted the crime. 

NBC News reported that TikTok users staged individualized protests by destroying Balenciaga clothing. 

Meanwhile, the Today show featured an article about celebrities — chief among them Brittany Aldean, wife of country singer Jason Aldean — tossing or otherwise destroying Balenciaga items.

A photo on Aldean’s Instagram account showed her hauling several plastic bags full of Balenciaga items with the caption “It’s trash day.” 

Balenciaga, which is headquartered in Spain, has since removed the ads and issued an apology. 

“I want to personally apologize for the wrong artistic choice of concept for the gifting campaign with the kids and I take my responsibility,” Demna Gvasalia, Balenciaga’s creative director, said in a statement on Instagram. “It was inappropriate to have kids promote objects that had nothing to do with them.

“As much as I would sometimes like to provoke a thought through my work, I would NEVER have an intention to do that with such an awful subject as child abuse that I condemn. Period.”

In an initial apology, Balenciaga had shifted blame to a production company, which the fashion house also sued for $25 million. 

This reaction was roundly rejected, effectively around the globe, and led to more spirited protests. 

As reported by the New York Post, Balenciaga has since dropped the lawsuit and also issued a document in which it laid out a series of actions — including establishing a fund that it says will be used to assist child protection organizations and restructuring its ad content approval process.