The Met Gala Creates A Moral Divide Before It Even Begins

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Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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The Met Gala will grace the world with all its glory May 1, at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, but the theme built around the legacy of Karl Lagerfeld has already created a moral divide before the gala even begins.

The theme for the 2023 Met Gala was unveiled in September as being “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty.” It promises to “examine the life” of the designer who has long been the creative director of French fashion house Chanel, but that legacy comes with what many consider to be a contentious reputation. Lagerfeld has been viewed by many to have presented misogynistic, fatphobic, and racist views during his time in the spotlight. Some disagree so greatly with what Lagerfeld stood for and represented, that they’ve bowed out of the event before it even began, according to Time.

Two weeks before the gala, the team behind the High Fashion Twitter Met Gala issued a tweet stating it would not hold its digital event for the annual Costume Institute Benefit, despite the fact that the Met Gala represents the biggest night in the fashion industry, according to Time.

“As we approach the first Monday of May, the hf twitter met gala team would like to announce that we will not be celebrating this year’s met gala as our values don’t align with the selection of Karl Lagerfeld as the theme,” the group wrote to Twitter.

“We hope to celebrate with our community again soon,” they said.

The the influential designer’s complicated legacy stems from more than a singular tweet. Lagerfeld was criticized for a series of comments he issued publicly, without remorse or apology.

HFT Met Gala coordinator @raphlecia also bowed out of the milestone celebration out of refusal to celebrate Lagerfeld’s history.

“A lot of us are actually part of the communities that Karl Lagerfeld has targeted in his hateful speech,” she said, according to Time.

“And a lot of the people who participate in our event are part of those communities as well. It’s not that we’re not acknowledging his legacy and we’re not denying it either, but part of his legacy are the harmful things that he’s said and we don’t really want to partake in celebrating that,” she said to Time.

Lagerfeld was widely criticized for putting supermodel Claudia Schiffer in blackface and yellowface, according to the New York Daily News.

The iconic designer was also heavily condemned for his support of stylist Karl Templer, whom several models accused of sexual misconduct, and for a statement he issued about how models are treated on the job.(RELATED: Billie Eilish Rocks A Silky Corset To Met Gala 2022)

“I read somewhere that now you must ask a model if she is comfortable with posing. It’s simply too much; from now on, as a designer, you can’t do anything,” he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“It’s unbelievable. If you don’t want your pants pulled about, don’t become a model! Join a nunnery, there’ll always be a place for you in the convent. They’re recruiting even!” Lagerfeld said.