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Balenciaga Hoarding Shoppers

Source: Richard Baker / Getty

A Black Friday sale is not the reason why popular designer brand Balenciaga began trending on social media today. Instead, it’s for a disturbing advertisement that the brand has now publicly apologized for, noting that the photographer was responsible for the distasteful campaign. Fans aren’t buying it. Read more on the story and see fan reactions inside.

Fashion brand Balenciaga posted an apology after one fan did a deep dive on their latest campaign where a child is posed with a teddy bear dressed in a BDSM outfit that has since outraged many people online.

The globally renowned Spanish fashion house, which has been seen on celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Cardi B, released a statement Tuesday (Nov. 22) apologizing for the harmful advertisement and has placed the blame solely on its Italian photographer, Gabriele Galimberti.

One Twitter user discovered that in addition to the strange imagery, the photoshoot also reveals court documents reading “Speech Coalition.” The case, from the 2008 US Supreme Court opinion in United States v. Williams, is part of a federal child pornography law, which Twitter’s self-proclaimed fact checkers have confirmed.

The ruling determined that offering or requesting to transfer, sell, deliver, or trade child pornography did not violate the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, even if a person charged under the code did not in fact possess child pornography with which to trade. The late Justice Antonin Scalia noted that offers to engage in illegal transactions are categorically excluded from First Amendment protection.

Balenciaga says sorry for the photoshoot and claim that they would take legal action against Galimberti and anyone else involved.

The statement reads:

“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.

We apologize for displaying unsettling documents in our campaign. 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. We strongly condemn abuse of children in any form. We stand for children safety and well-being.”

Fans have many questions and have posted their reactions online. The brand has over 20k tweets since the discovery of this campaign’s peculiar imagery immerged.

Comment your thoughts on Balenciaga’s latest campaign. Will you be supporting the brand in the future?

Check out fan reactions below:

Some fans hint at grooming and indoctrination of children.

Other fans bring Kanye West into the fold.

Many fans are DONE with the brand.

This Twitter user questions the difference in cancel culture across races.

Didn’t Balenciaga hire the photographer and the entire team?

Cancelled!

Strange behavior for sure.

This social media user comments on their lackluster designs.

Was it a conspiracy theory or did we all witness the same exact thing?

There are absolutely no boundaries or ethical practices anymore.