#minorsextrafficking | ‘Leave the children alone’, say angry netizens after Balenciaga issues apology over problematic ad

Soon after the French luxury fashion house Balenciaga issued an apology over a problematic ad campaign featuring children, netizens took to Twitter and said that the brand needs to leave the children alone, making it clear they are not buying Balenciaga’s apology. A user tweeted, “Nice try Balenciaga. Let’s just get rid of all law enforcement and have apology enforcement. Imagine that kind of world? Ho wait we are in it NOW! Enough with child exploitation! Balenciaga- leave the children ALONE or pay the LEGAL CONSEQUENCES.”

Another user said that they were waiting to hear from reality TV star and influencer Kim Kardashian on the controversy. The user wrote, “Like, I’m sorry but we aren’t that stupid. The levels of approval all of this would have needed. This is NOT an apology. This statement is NOT acceptable. Lots of people need firing. Kim Kardashian waiting to hear you condemn Balenciaga and that you cut ties with them.”

New York Times’ best-selling author Candance Owens also weighed in and asked some pertinent questions. Owens tweeted, “Okay but have their business accounts been cancelled by the bank? Have they lost billions of dollars in a day? Have they met with victims of child sex trafficking? Have they met with leaders that are fighting child exploitation? Keep that same energy, Hollywood.”

Balenciaga posted an apology on its Instagram story for its ad campaign featuring children holding teddy bears with bondage tie-ups. The fashion house had said in its apology that the campaign for their plush bear bags should not have featured children and that they have removed the campaign from all platforms.  

Balenciaga further said, “We apologise 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 the abuse of children in any form. We stand for children’s safety and well-being.”

Balenciaga’s Instagram story
Balenciaga’s Instagram story

A user, who goes by the name shoe0nhead on YouTube, shared the images on Twitter and wrote, “The brand Balenciaga just did a uh…. Interesting… photoshoot for their new products recently which included a very purposely poorly hidden court document about ‘virtual child porn’. Normal stuff.”

Another user Tori Nicks 2.0 observed that it was interesting Balenciaga chose to post their apology on Instagram stories, where it will be gone in 24 hours, instead of posting it on their page where it would be there forever for the world to see. 

Two images from the campaign have gone viral on the internet. In one image, a girl is shown holding a teddy bear wearing a padlocked choker whereas, in another image, a girl is shown holding a teddy bear wearing outfit that seems to be inspired by BDSM. 

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