Fashion brand Balenciaga apologized on Tuesday for its most recent advertisement featuring sexualized images of children with teddy bears dressed in bondage uniforms.
One of the images involved a U.S. Supreme Court case, U.S. v. Williams, that criminalized child pornography. The section in the photo cites another Supreme Court case, Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, which rendered virtual child pornography protected speech.
This company has been condemned for “normalizing child pornography” by many.
“They are trying to chum up attention by incorporating a Supreme Court child porn pandering case as window dressing,” the National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s general counsel, Benjamin Bull, said. “It's connecting child porn with their product.”
The company was clobbered with many protests, resulting in the removal of the images and an apology. They have also begun legal proceedings “against the parties responsible for creating the set.”
“We apologize for displaying unsettling documents in our campaign,” the company stated on Instagram.
The fashion company further claimed that certain items shown in the photos were “unapproved” and that they “strongly condemn abuse of children in any form.”
“We stand for children[‘s] safety and well-being,” its public relations continued. “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.”
“This is not about them being provocative and getting attention,” Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Nance told Fox News. “The entire campaign sexualizes children, period. It is child exploitation, period. And it feeds and normalizes a culture that is dark and depraved.”
Nicole Kidman is featured in Balenciaga's Spring 2023 collection, and Kim Kardashian and Bella Hadid have served as brand ambassadors.