A white banner emblazoned with the word grave accusations was hung over the front entrance of a Dallas, Texas Balenciaga store last week, a development that follows a string of recent controversies enveloping the brand.
Dallas Texas TV posted an image on Twitter Sunday showing a white banner with “pedophiles” written in red, all-capital letters strung across the entrance and blocking the doors to a Balenciaga store in Dallas’ Northpark Mall. It’s unclear precisely who is responsible for putting up the banner and multiple attempts to reach management at the location were unsuccessful Monday morning.
The two campaigns ignited a firestorm among conservative pundits and their followers. FOX News’ Tucker Carlson blasted the campaign during a televised segment as evidence that Hollywood elites are engaged in a conspiracy to promote pedophilia and traffick children for sexual exploitation.
“Here you have a major international retail brand promoting kiddie porn and sex with children… and not promoting it subtly but right out in the open,” Carlson told his 3.2 million-plus nightly viewers on Nov. 22.
Candace Owens, a conservative media influencer and contributor to the right-leaning Daily Wire, characterized the campaign as “child pornography” in a tweet.
Backlash has been widespread on social media since the series’ debut. TikTokers began going viral for destroying or throwing away their Balenciaga gear; videos with the hashtag “#boycottbalenciaga” have garnered 121.1 million views as of Monday. Twitter users posted photos of themselves lighting their Balenciaga shoes and clothes on fire.
The brand pulled within the campaign less than a week after its debut and issued an apology for the ads. “Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children. The two separate ad campaigns in question reflect a series of grievous errors for which Balenciaga takes responsibility,” Balenciaga said in a statement to Rolling Stone last week.
The designer’s attempt at damage control has quell the outrage against the campaign. On Nov. 30, the same week that the Dallas banner appeared, the New York Post reported that Balenciaga stores in London and Beverly Hills were vandalized with messages labeling the brand pedophilic.