Many people interpreted Kim Kardashian’s silence on the Balenciaga scandal negatively.
Balenciaga is under fire for its bondage-themed campaign featuring children, which many saw as pedophilia. Kardashian, one of the brand’s celebrities, has remained silent about the scandal, dubbed BalenciagaGate, and several Twitter users have criticized the Skims founder for her silence.
“The @KimKardashian silence about #BalenciagaGate: She just tweeted promoting her show on Hulu like nothing happened. She prefers the money over speaking up against child grooming/perversion/sexualization. Yet here you are average Plain Jane giving her your attention for free.”
“Where’s the celebrity outrage over Balenciaga’s pedophile ad? @KimKardashian, you’re a mom. Nothing? #BalenciagaGate.”
A third user made the following comment on one of Kardashian’s recent tweets:
“Wow… you’re really just going to stay silent. You know this means you condone it right? Your silence speaks VOLUMES. #BalenciagaGate.”
A different person wrote:
“#BalenciagaGate wake up people it was done with intention. @KimKardashian why are you not condemning this, but you were quick to condemn #Kanye.”
Meanwhile, Balenciaga apologized publicly for the controversial photos.
The brand said in a post 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.”
Balenciaga apologized again in a separate post for “displaying unsettling documents in our campaign.” The company stated that it was taking the matter “very seriously” and that it was “taking legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set and including the unapproved items” for its spring 23 campaign photoshoot.
The statement concluded:
“We strongly condemn the abuse of children in any form. We stand for children’s safety and well-being.”
Some photographs were taken by Gabriele Galimberti, an Italian photographer best known for his work with National Geographic. He also issued an Instagram statement, explaining that he has no creative control over the photoshoot.
“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 [sic] the given scene and take the shots according to my signature style. As usual for commercial shooting, the direction of the campaign and the choice of the objects displayed are not in the hands of the photographer.”
He ended his statement by saying he had nothing to do with the photo of Supreme Court documents that had been “falsely associated with my photos.”