Kim Kardashian has broken her silence on a controversial holiday advertising campaign from collaborator Balenciaga that allegedly sexualized children.
On Sunday, the reality TV star and beauty mogul released a statement via social media responding to the campaign, which featured child models posing with teddy bears that were dressed in bondage attire. In the wake of the controversy, some pressured Kardashian to cut ties with the fashion house, which has often collaborated with the mega-influencer.
“I have been quiet for the past few days, not because I haven’t been disgusted and outraged by the recent Balenciaga campaigns, but because I wanted an opportunity to speak to their team to understand for myself how this could have happened,” Kardashian wrote in her statement.
“As a mother of four, I have been shaken by the disturbing images. The safety of children must be held with the highest regard and any attempts to normalize child abuse of any kind should have no place in our society — period.”
Last week, Balenciaga apologized for the campaign and wiped the images “from all platforms.” Eagle-eyed online shoppers also spotted documents from a 2008 Supreme Court case involving “virtual child pornography” in the background of one of the pictures.
“We sincerely apologize for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused,” the company said in a statement. “Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children. … 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.”
In her statement, Kardashian acknowledged Balenciaga’s response and confirmed she had spoken with the company about the campaign. Her message comes about a month after Balenciaga dropped her estranged husband, Kanye West, after his repeated antisemitic remarks.
“I appreciate Balenciaga’s removal of the campaigns and apology,” Kardashian continued. “I believe they understand the seriousness of the issue and will take the necessary measures for this to never happen again.
“As for my future with Balenciaga, I am currently re-evaluating my relationship with the brand, basing it off their willingness to accept accountability for something that should have never happened to begin with — & the actions I am expecting to see them take to protect children.”