Faced with the prospect of an epic — epically revolting — fashion industry scandal unfolding before our very eyes, the response from some of the world’s biggest celebrities seems to be: Let’s see if this blows over.

I, for one, want to make sure that does not happen.

Days before Thanksgiving the fashion house Balenciaga triggered outrage with its 2022 Holiday advertising campaign, which toyed with one of the most depraved evils known to man — the sexual exploitation of children.

Photos showcased little girls posing with handbags shaped like teddy bears, but the bears wore bondage gear. In some pictures, the child models are standing on beds. In another a sleepy looking girl lies on a couch near wine glasses. In yet another, a boy stands in a room strewn with toys and pictures, including bondage bears and a childlike drawing of a devil.

This is sick.

Who are they appealing to? Who in their right mind thought it was even remotely appropriate to use children to sell adult products associated with sexual fetishes?

Balenciaga tried to get ahead of the controversy, but they couldn’t.

‘Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign,’ the brand posted on Instagram.

Yeah, no kidding. But that doesn’t explain how this happened in the first place.

And then the other shoes started to drop.

MEGHAN MCCAIN: Balenciaga sexually exploited kids to sell a revolting fetish - and I'll never buy the brand again. So why the hell is Kim Kardashian STILL standing by them?

For the record, I think Kim Kardashian is a coward for not immediately cutting ties with Balenciaga and I predict this choice will haunt her for years.

The more I dug into this story the more shocked I became, and I suspect that there are many more details yet to come.

Hours after Balenciaga’s initial apology, people started identifying more grossly disturbing material in other ad campaigns.

A photo from their new Spring/Summer 2023 campaign shows a handbag on top of a pile of scattered documents. For no apparent reason, one of the pages is from a Supreme Court decision on child pornography laws.

There is another photo of a model lounging in an office chair and in the background is a book by a disgustingly creepy artist named Michael Borremans. His art depicts young kids handling bloody body parts, cannibalism and adults and children dressed in full-length black hoods.

If you are not about to vomit on your computer screen, please keep reading…

As these new revelations poured out, Balenciaga released another statement, seemingly to shift blame to the production company and set designer behind the Spring/Summer shoot.

‘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’s safety and well-being,’ they wrote.

So, for those following this insanity, Balenciaga commissioned two separate ad campaigns, produced by two different production companies, that both dabbled in bizarre child exploitation themes. It’s now fair to ask, what the heck is going on here?

Their explanation only begs more questions.

The idea that these highly produced and — without a doubt — expensive photo shoots were not closely supervised and reviewed by every executive, photo editor and stylist in the company just doesn’t fly. It is not only absurd, but it is safe to say this is likely a bold-faced lie.

Anyone who has ever participated in a photo shoot, let alone one for a giant fashion house, knows how many approvals are necessary before something is published.

MEGHAN MCCAIN: Balenciaga sexually exploited kids to sell a revolting fetish - and I'll never buy the brand again. So why the hell is Kim Kardashian STILL standing by them?

Photos showcased little girls posing with handbags shaped like teddy bears, but the bears wore bondage gear. In some pictures, the child models are standing on beds.

MEGHAN MCCAIN: Balenciaga sexually exploited kids to sell a revolting fetish - and I'll never buy the brand again. So why the hell is Kim Kardashian STILL standing by them?

In another a sleepy looking girl lies on a couch near wine glasses.

MEGHAN MCCAIN: Balenciaga sexually exploited kids to sell a revolting fetish - and I'll never buy the brand again. So why the hell is Kim Kardashian STILL standing by them?

In yet another, a boy stands in a room strewn with toys and pictures, including bondage bears and a childlike drawing of a devil (pictured above in upper right).

Are we to believe that not one executive signed off on two major ad campaigns? How deep does the acceptance of child exploitation go in the fashion industry?

If I were linked in any way to this brand, I would be firing off phone calls, emails, text messages and smoke signals to anyone and everyone to sever any connection to Balenciaga.

But apparently, that’s just me.

Supermodel Bella Hadid, featured in the Spring/Summer ad, quietly deleted her Instagram post promoting the campaign. But that was it. No condemnation. No demand for an explanation.

Nicole Kidman, also in the 2023 ad, reportedly hasn’t said a peep.

Maybe no one is more associated with Balenciaga than Kim Kardashian.

Over the past few years, she seemingly wears nothing but different versions of their leotard/glove outfit. You know the one – it looks like a Halloween-themed catsuit. It makes me wonder if she has anything else in her wardrobe.

Kim K and the fashion house are ubiquitous. Branding wise — they are considered one and the same.

And so far, the Kardashians are still standing by Balenciaga, despite Kim being a mother of four herself.

After days of silence, she released a statement on Sunday, writing, in part, ‘I appreciate Balenciaga’s removal of the campaigns and apology. In speaking with them, I believe they understand the seriousness of the issue and will take the necessary measures for this to never happen again.’

Kim added that she is ‘re-evaluating’ her relationship with the brand, was ‘disgusted and outraged’ but still is waiting to hear their side of the story.

For the record, I think she’s a coward for not immediately cutting ties with Balenciaga and I predict this choice will haunt her for years.

The bottom line here is that grownups are supposed to protect children – period. And as a society, we seem to be failing the most innocent and vulnerable, who have no advocates but us.

Maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised.

Over the past few years, it seems the standards for what is considered socially acceptable regarding the sexualization of children has shifted.

MEGHAN MCCAIN: Balenciaga sexually exploited kids to sell a revolting fetish - and I'll never buy the brand again. So why the hell is Kim Kardashian STILL standing by them?

Supermodel Bella Hadid, featured in the Spring/Summer ad (above), quietly deleted her Instagram post promoting the campaign. But that was it. No condemnation. No demand for an explanation.

MEGHAN MCCAIN: Balenciaga sexually exploited kids to sell a revolting fetish - and I'll never buy the brand again. So why the hell is Kim Kardashian STILL standing by them?

A photo from their new Spring/Summer 2023 campaign shows a handbag on top of a pile of scattered documents. For no apparent reason, one of the pages is from a Supreme Court decision on child pornography laws.

MEGHAN MCCAIN: Balenciaga sexually exploited kids to sell a revolting fetish - and I'll never buy the brand again. So why the hell is Kim Kardashian STILL standing by them?

There is another photo of a model lounging in an office chair and in the background is a book by a disgustingly creepy artist named Michael Borremans (pictured above in upper right)

From these Balenciaga ad campaigns, to parents encouraging their kids to participate in drag shows, to the celebration of the new Broadway musical resuscitating accused pedophile Michael Jackson, to the growing acceptance of experimental gender treatments for children too young to vote – adults are too often looking the other way when their attention is demanded.

If a fashion brand was caught using racist, homophobic, or bigoted imagery heads would roll immediately. I would wager every celebrity under the sun would have something to say about that.

There wouldn’t be time for explanation. Kim Kardashian wouldn’t be giving them room to sort out their public relations strategy. There would be immediate firings and they would go straight to the top.

Why in this instance are celebrities being so understanding?

I will never buy another piece of Balenciaga clothing ever again. High fashion is a fun luxury, but I am not comfortable giving money to any company, who not only enables the sexual exploitation of children, but also doesn’t seem capability of taking responsibility for the heinous bile they have injected into society.

In fact, I don’t know if there is a coming back from this level of scandal for Balenciaga. If I were in charge of helping them fix this mess, I would clean house of everyone who even looked at those photos, donate massive sums of money to help combat child abuse, child sex trafficking and child pornography and beg the public for forgiveness.

Let’s be clear, this isn’t cancel culture.

This is about protecting children.

And adults need to step up

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