Close this search box.

Kanye West: Hollywood A-listers silent on Balenciaga saga

by Izel Abanilla

Editor’s note: This story contains mentions of photographs of children with sexual connotations. Parental guidance is advised.

RAPPER Ye, erstwhile endorser of Balenciaga, threw shade at fellow Hollywood celebrities for being silent on the controversial ad of the luxury fashion house involving children.

Balenciaga’s parent company, Kering, had earlier cut ties with Ye, more popularly known as “Kanye West,” for his antisemitic comments on social media. 

“This just shows you that all celebrities are controlled. You don’t see no celebrities talking about the Balenciaga situation,” Ye told paparazzis who were waiting for him at the church over the weekend.

“All of these celebrities out here, don’t let them influence you in any way, because they’re controlled by the people who really influenced the world. There is no such thing as celebrity influencer,” he added.

West was interviewed one day before his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, spoke against the campaign.

Reports said Ye introduced Kardashian to Balenciaga. Kim’s sisters,  Kylie Jenner and Khloé Kardashian, were also spotted attending the release of the new collection at Paris fashion week last October 2.

On Monday, Kim Kardashian finally broke silence and said she is “re-evaluating” her relationship with the luxury brand after its blunder.

Without referring to her ex-beau, Kardashian said it her long to comment on the controversial ad “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.”

The Balenciaga ad campaign triggered global outrage over supposedly sexualizing children. 

The brand released photos featuring young children photographed holding teddy bears adorned with supposed BDSM-inspired harnesses. 

As inspection intensified, eagle-eyed critics found out that among the elements in the photos were printed Supreme Court decisions discussing the legality of child pornography and a Michaël Borremans art book as props which apparently contained sinister paintings of children and adults engaging in cannibalism. 

Balenciaga had already issued an apology reiterating “we strongly condemn child abuse” and that “it was never our intent to include it in our narrative.” 

Despite thetr apology, removal of the ads and intent to sue parties involved in the production, some fans and critics globally still demand accountability from the brand including some Hollywood A-listers. 

American television personality and columnist Meghan McCain called Kardashian as “coward for not immediately cutting ties” with Balenciaga.

“I predict this choice will haunt her for years,”  McCain wrote in her column at Daily Mail of UK.

The daughter of former presidential candidate John McCain also noted that other A-lister celebrities who endorsed Balenciaga were silent on the issue. Supermodel Bella Hadid “quietly” deleted her Instagram post promoting the Spring/ Summer ad. 

“But that was it. No condemnation. No demand for an explanation,” she said.

Balenciaga’s apology begs more questions.

“The idea that these highly produced and — without a doubt — expensive photo shoots were not closely supervised and reviewed by every executive, photo editor and stylist in the company just doesn’t fly. It is not only absurd, but it is safe to say this is likely a bold-faced lie.”

“Anyone who has ever participated in a photo shoot, let alone one for a giant fashion house, knows how many approvals are necessary before something is published,” she added.

Because of the controversy, McCain swore she will “never buy another piece of Balenciaga clothing ever again.”

“High fashion is a fun luxury, but I am not comfortable giving money to any company, who not only enables the sexual exploitation of children, but also doesn’t seem capability of taking responsibility for the heinous bile they have injected into society.”

“Let’s be clear, this isn’t cancel culture.

This is about protecting children.

“And adults need to step up.”

Meghan McCain

Football star Cooper Cupp called out to the people to be aware of attacks against children. He also wants perpetrators to be held liable for such an act. 

American actress Lala Kent said because of the controversy, she is proud that she does not own a single Balenciaga item. 

With reports from Athena Yap



We have the stories you’ll want to read.

RepublicAsia Newsletter