Jameela Jamil condemns decision to honour Karl Lagerfeld with Met Gala theme
Jameela Jamil has condemned the decision to honour Karl Lagerfeld with the theme for the 2023 Met Gala.
Ahead of this year’s Met Gala, which takes place on Monday 1 May, Vogue announced that the theme for the annual event would be: “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty”. In line with the theme, the accompanying exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute will “examine the life - and creative legacy - of the late designer, who shaped the face of fashion for more than half a century”.
The Good Place star previously spoke out against the Met Gala theme in October 2022, when she called out the German designer for the many instances he spoke in a “distinctly hateful” way, which she acknowledged was “mostly towards women”.
In a post shared to her Instagram Story on Monday, the 37-year-old actor once again criticised Vogue’s choice and reiterated her opposition to the Met Gala theme.
“This is why so many people hate and mistrust Hollywood elite liberals. Because of our rampant selective outrage and hypocrisy. If someone makes good art we turn a blind eye. Why else did [Harvey] Weinstein get away with decades of abuse?”
In a separate Instagram Story post, Jamil wrote: “Watching people who preach social justice online, the entire media, and the people on social media *willfully* celebrating, and ignoring the deplorable behaviour of a bigoted man at the Met Gala who consistently used his platform to degrade women, sexual assault survivors, fat people etc...with no apology...is so laughable...could have been Chanel themed, instead of him specifically, or could have been a theme that celebrated other designers who were less bigoted and hateful? But no.”
She continued, “It’s the selective outrage Olympics. Nothing matters. Nothing means anyting. Everyone is so full of it. The public is in on the selective outrage. You’re all a part of the problem. You’re all why the left is taken less and less seriously. Your cancellations look increasingly absurd.”
“This is a prime example of why the right win. And will continue to win,” Jamil added. “This is symbolic of so much of our behaviour and at last it’s clear as day how everyone really feels and watery their values are.”
While Jamil emphasised in a following post that she’s “not saying don’t buy Chanel”, she maintained that her issue with the Met Gala theme was that celebrities “turn a blind eye” and “spend money/time on” honouring someone who “relentlessly perpetuated the very behaviour they demonise on the right”.
Back in October, Jameela Jamil criticised the Met Gala’s decision to honour Karl Lagerfeld for its annual fashion event when she shared a black-and-white portrait of the late designer, writing: “Nope”.
In her caption, she said: “Karl Lagerfeld is the theme for the entire Met Gala next year. This man... was indeed, supremely talented, but used his platform in such a distinctly hateful way, mostly towards women, so repeatedly and up until the last years of his life, showing no remorse, offering no atonement, no apology, no help to groups he attacked... there was no explanation for his cruel outbursts,” she wrote in the caption at the time.
The actor included “receipts” with the post, noting examples of instances where Lagerfeld, who had worked as the creative director of the French fashion house Chanel, was fatphobic, sexist, and xenophobic.
In the second photo of the album, Jamil included a reference to Lagerfeld’s 2009 interview with German magazine Focus where he claimed that “no one wants to see curvy women.” The series of photos also included examples of the comments Lagerfeld made about women who came forward with their experiences during the Me Too Movement. “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,” he reportedly told Numero in 2018.
Jamil said in her post that she was “well aware” that it would “probably end [her] relationship with Vogue,” before noting that she was “amazed to see the entire Met Gala and all the famous celebrities and models celebrating someone who said this sh*t about women so often”.
In another slide, Jamil included additional comments Lagerfeld made about Me Too, in which he had claimed that he was “fed up with it.” Another post again referenced harmful and fatphobic comments the designer made about “thin models” and “real women”.
“You’ve got fat mothers with their bags of chips sitting in front of the television and saying that thin models are ugly,” Lagerfeld told Focus during the same interview in 2009, according to Vox. “The world of beautiful clothing is about ‘dreams and illusions’”.
The post also included references to Lagerfeld’s anti-immigration comments and his admission that he was not “keen” on gay couples being allowed to adopt.
Jamil included examples of moments Lagerfeld publicly criticised the appearances of public figures such as Pippa Middleton, Adele, and Lana Del Rey as well.
“Those groups were women who were sexually assaulted, the entire Me Too movement, gay couples who wanted to adopt, all fat people, specifically fat women, and some of his greatest harm was against Muslim refugees, and the disgusting way he spoke about people fleeing their homes for fear of their lives,” Jamil continued in the caption. “Why is THIS who we celebrate when there are so many AMAZING designers out there who aren’t bigoted white men?
The actor also questioned what “happened to everyone’s principles and ‘advocacy.”
“You don’t get to stand for justice in these areas, and then attend the celebration of someone who reveled in his own public disdain for marginalised people,” she said, before concluding the post with: “Sorry, but no. This isn’t the 90s. We didn’t fight all this shit just to throw it all away because some white guy made some pretty clothes for people’s skinny faves... come on now.”
Jamil said she chose to make her feelings about Lagerfeld clear because of her political leaning: “One of the many hypocrisies the left is accused of is double standards. This is the exact sort of incident that implies that.”
“Mass outrage when people on the right make fun of Lizzo’s body, or refugees, or Muslims or interfere with gay rights… but when it’s a man who made pretty dresses that liberals like to wear suddenly it’s fingers in the ears and hands over the eyes…?” she continued. “What are we doing? How do we expect to be taken seriously?”
In response to Jamil’s post, many of her followers agreed with her sentiments while others noted that they were not aware of the late designer’s highly controversial past.
“Wow. Did not know this. Holy sh*t,” comedian and writer Phoebe Robinson wrote, while another person commented: “Had no idea and am so grateful to you for shedding light and speaking out!”
The Independent has contacted Vogue for comment.