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Balenciaga Launches Investigation Into BDSM Teddy Bear Scandal As Calls For Boycott Grows

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Source: Balenciaga

Nov. 28 2022, Published 2:25 p.m. ET

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Balenciaga has announced it launched an internal investigation into the brand's controversial ads, with one that featured children holding BDSM-themed teddy bears, as boycott backlash continues to grow, has learned.

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Days after pulling the ads, #cancelbalenciaga and #balenciagaboycott are continuing to trend, forcing the high-end fashion brand to address the ongoing controversy.

Wiping their social media clean, Balenciaga issued a statement on Monday.

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Source: Balenciaga
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"We strongly condemn child abuse," its statement began. "It was never our intent to include it in our narrative." Admitting the two ad campaigns "reflect a series of grievous errors for which Balenciaga takes responsibility," the brand addressed each controversy.

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"The first campaign, the Gift collection campaign, featured children with plush bear bags dressed in what some have labelled BDSM-inspired outfits. Our plush bear bags and the Gift collection should not have been featured with children. This was a wrong choice by Balenciaga, combined with our failure in assessing and validating images. The responsibility for this lies with Balenciaga alone," the clothing giant continued.

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"The second, separate campaign for Spring 2023, which was meant to replicate a business office environment, included a photo with a page in the background from a Supreme Court ruling 'United States v. Williams' 2008 which confirms as illegal and not protected by freedom of speech the promotion of child pornography. All the items included in this shooting were provided by third parties that confirmed in writing that these props were fake office documents. They turned out to be real legal papers most likely coming from the filming of a television drama," the statement read.

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"The inclusion of these unapproved documents was the result of reckless negligence for which Balenciaga has filed a complaint," it stated, adding, "We take full accountability for our lack of oversight and control of the documents in the background and we could have done things differently."

Balenciaga said it launched an internal and external investigation, which is ongoing — but the damage has already been done.

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Source: Mega
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Shoppers are coming out in droves, vowing to boycott the brand and any company or persons associated with Balenciaga. The outrage forced Kim Kardashian to address the controversy, with the newest face of the brand announcing she's sticking by its side after sitting down and expressing her concerns with the honchos of the fashion label.

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Others are calling on retail giants that carry the brand, like Nordstrom, to stop carrying Balenciaga in stores, with some even targeting Kim's company Skims.

"Thousands of us will NEVER step foot in Nordstrom again unless you cut ties with BALENCIAGA and SKIMS‼️‼️‼️#cancelbalenciaga #cancelkim, one person wrote on Nordstrom's social media.

"Break ties with #balenciaga and #skims 🆘 You cannot support brands that align with child abuse and only apologize when enough people take notice!! #cancelbalenciaga #cancelkim #cancelskims," warned another.

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Insiders tell us that it's unlikely Nordstrom will end its relationship with Balenciaga, adding that the issue was never discussed during a corporate work meeting on Monday.



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