Calls Grow for Balenciaga to Face Punishment Similar to Kanye West 

While many online are still angered over Balenciaga’s controversial ad campaign, others are irked over the fact that the luxury fashion brand has yet to face punishment equivalent to the likes of celebrities like Kanye West, who have been condemned for their own controversial takes.

Celebrity Sightings - Paris Fashion Week -
Above, Kanye West aka Ye is seen wearing a Balenciaga boxing mouthguard, outside Givenchy, during Paris Fashion Week – Womenswear Spring/Summer 2023—Day Seven on October 02, 2022, in Paris, France. Many online have called for the public to cancel Balenciaga in the same way that Ye was canceled several months prior.
Edward Berthelot/GC Images

Critics have slammed Balenciaga in the last week in response to a recent ad campaign that featured children holding bondage-clad teddy bear handbags. The brand has been accused of pedophilia and has issued several apology statements on the subject, but some believe it is not enough.

Though brand ambassadors, including Kim Kardashian, have shared that they are reconsidering their partnerships with the company, many online are calling for the response to Balenciaga to be similar to how rapper West was treated.

One user wrote on Twitter, “I hope yall treat Balenciaga the same way y’all treated Kanye.”

In October, West—who legally changed his name to Ye in 2021—made several comments that were criticized for being antisemitic, including tweeting that he was “going death con 3 on Jewish people.” Following the comments, Ye faced a series of cut ties with banks and brands, including Balenciaga, and he was suspended from his social media accounts.

More users in recent days have called out the response to Balenciaga’s campaign, claiming that child pornography is just as bad as antisemitism, yet the fashion house has not been punished the same way that Ye was.

“Kanye West immediately got dropped by his bank for saying offensive things on social media,” one user wrote with a check mark emoji, before adding that “Jeffrey Epstein never got dropped by his bank for being a pedophile” and “Balenciaga still hasn’t been dropped by their banks despite posting grotesque child abuse.”

“A tweet damn near ended Kanye & Kyrie. Balenciaga ‘apologizes’ and everything all good. Bro this planet is something,” another user tweeted. Basketball player Kyrie Irving was also condemned for tweeting in support of a film that was criticized for being antisemitic and was suspended from the Brooklyn Nets in response.

“Notice how not a single bank has dropped Balenciaga,” wrote another. “Culture will cancel a canned food company for their CEO voting Red, but not a fashion brand promoting child pornography.”

Ye spoke out about Balenciaga over the weekend, stating that the situation with the fashion brand proved that “celebrities are being controlled.”

“They tried to destroy me in [the] press. They tried to destroy all of my businesses at the same time, and the world saw it. And no one is saying anything,” Ye said while being filmed by celebrity gossip site X17.

“This just shows you all celebrities are controlled. You don’t see no celebrities talking about the Balenciaga situation, right? So that just shows you: All of these celebrities out here—don’t let them influence you in any way, because they’re controlled by the people who really influence the world,” he said.

The situation with Balenciaga has also been likened to the public response against Twitter, which has been a controversial subject as well after billionaire Elon Musk officially took over the social site in October.

“We have a major morality problem in our country when Apple is considering removing Twitter from the App Store but not Balenciaga,” another user tweeted.

Newsweek reached out to Balenciaga and a representative for Ye for additional comment.

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