Balenciaga Apologizes For Vile Kiddie Bondage Ad Featuring Child Porn Prop

Fashion brand claims ignorance.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Composite.

Fashion brand Balenciaga has apologized for a vile photo shoot which featured kids holding teddy bears dressed in bondage gear and a prop relating to a child porn Supreme Court case.

Critics slammed the Spanish-turned-French label after photos were released showing young girls holding plush bear bags adorned with BDSM gear.

Perhaps even more insidious was the placement of a prop showing court documents concerning Ashcroft v Free Speech Coalition, a 2002 Supreme Court case.

The case struck down a portion of the Child Pornography Prevention Act (CPPA) of 1996, ruling that “virtual” child pornography is protected speech.

In an Instagram post, Balenciaga wrote, “We sincerely apologise for any offense our holiday campaign may have caused. Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign. We have immediately removed the campaign from all platforms.”

The company also claimed ignorance when it came to the Supreme Court case prop, adding that it would be pursuing legal charges against those responsible for featuring it.

“We apologise for displaying unsettling documents in our campaign,” the company stated. “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,” the statement continued. “We stand for children safety and well-being.”

Respondents on Twitter expressed their utter disbelief that the campaign, which was part of Balenciaga’s Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2023 collection, was allowed to run.

“Frightening how many adults must have been involved in this,” one Twitter user remarked. “Parents, photographers, creative directors, copywriters, design agency staff, producers, managers, advertisers… and not one of them thought, ‘hang on a minute?’”

Balenciaga had previously departed Twitter, presumably in protest against Elon Musk, with critics pointing out that the decision could have been influenced by Musk cracking down on the platform being used to facilitate child exploitation.

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