Canceled Balenciaga Ad Campaign Featured Book by Painter Who Depicts Castrated Children

Photo from Balenciaga ad campaign with child's face obscured

Another Balenciaga ad campaign featured content suggesting child abuse and pornography.

The now-canceled spring 2023 ad, the primary subject of which was French actress Isabelle Huppert, included a book by Belgian artist Michaël Borremans whose paintings often depict children — including castrated children.

Balenciaga has been under fire in recent weeks for other ads many argue were “normalizing child pornography” as they showed children holding teddy bears wearing BDSM outfits. These ads also include a portion of a U.S. Supreme Court case citing another case making virtual child pornography protected speech.

The picture that included Borremans’ book was taken down from the fashion house’s website after coming under fire for the “BDSM teddy bear” images.

According to the New York Post, Hong Kong’s David Zwirner gallery described Borremans’ paintings as “toddlers engaged in playful but mysterious acts with sinister overtones and insinuations of violence.”

Balenciaga apologized for the campaigns twice — the most recent being Monday,in which it said, “We strongly condemn child abuse; it was never our intent to include it in the narrative. The two separate ad campaigns in questions reflect a series of grievous errors for which Balenciaga takes responsibility.”

As Breitbart News reported, the fashion house has initiated legal action Friday against the production company behind the images, describing the company’s actions as “malevolent or, at the very least, extraordinarily reckless.”

“As a result of Defendants’ misconduct, members of the public, including the news media, have falsely and horrifically associated Balenciaga with the repulsive and deeply disturbing subject of the court decision,” it continues. “Defendants are liable to Balenciaga for all harm resulting from this false association.”

Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.


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