Balenciaga Creative Director Keeps His Job After BDSM-Themed Child Ads Scandal, Apologizes for Making ‘Wrong Artistic Choice’

attends the 2017 CFDA Fashion Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom on June 5, 2017 in New York City.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images/Balenciaga

Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia will reportedly keep his job despite being responsible for the creepy BDSM-themed child ads. He apologized for making the “wrong artistic choice of concept” in a statement on Friday.

“I want to personally apologize for the wrong artistic choice of concept for the gifting campaign with the kids and I take my responsibility,” Demna said in a statement released Friday. “It was inappropriate to have kids promote objects that had nothing to do with them.”

“As much as I would sometimes like to provoke a thought through my work, I would NEVER have an intention to do that with such an awful subject as child abuse that I condemn. Period,” Demna continued.

“I need to learn from this, listen and engage with child protection organizations to know how I can contribute and help on this terrible subject,” the Balenciaga creative director added.

“I apologize to anyone offended by the visuals and Balenciaga has guaranteed that adequate measures will be taken not only to avoid similar mistakes in the future but also to take accountability in protecting child welfare in every way we can,” Demna concluded.

A few weeks ago, Balenciaga began to face heavy backlash in response to its November 16 ads featuring children holding teddy bears clad in bondage outfits. The ads also included a document referencing a U.S. Supreme Court case involving child pornography.

The luxury brand’s 41-year-old creative director will be able to keep his job, despite mounting outrage over the images and calls for him to either resign or be fired, according to a report by Daily Mail.

Before the BDSM-themed child ad scandal, Demna was “the darling of the fashion industry and was credited for boosting the profits of Balenciaga’s parent group, Kering, by $1 billion,” the report added.

Last week, Balenciaga wiped its entire Instagram account clean, apologized for its creepy ads sexualizing children, and then filed a $25 million lawsuit against the advertisers who produced their ad campaign.

Meanwhile, fury is growing as much of the liberal Hollywood elite remains silent on the luxury fashion brand’s scandal, with calls for celebrities who have previously associated themselves with Balenciaga to condemn the brand’s recent ad campaign.

Model Bella Hadid, actress Nicole Kidman, and singer Dua Lipa, who all starred in Balenciaga’s fashion show, have stayed quiet. Other silent stars include Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, and rapper Doja Cat, who recently attended the Balenciaga show in Paris, as well as actress Salma Hayak, whose husband François-Henri Pinault is the CEO of Kering, the brand’s parent company.

Additionally, French actress Isabelle Huppert, who appears in two photos from the campaign in front of the Borremans book, has also yet to speak a word on the matter. Moreover, Euphoria star Alexa Demie has yet to remove a Balenciaga ad campaign from her Instagram feed.

So far, Kim Kardashian is the only celebrity to publicly address the issue, saying that as a mother of four, she was “shaken by the disturbing images.” Despite that, however, Kardashian has refused to completely distance herself from the brand, adding that she is “re-evaluating” her relationship with Balenciaga.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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