AceShowbiz - People have always welcomed LGBTQ representation in any kinds of media, but it's not the case when the ones who are doing it are straight people. Calvin Klein has recently faced criticism after the fashion brand released an ad of Bella Hadid and female robot influencer Lil Miquela for its new campaign "I Speak My Truth in #MyCalvins".
The short clip showed the Victoria's Secret model standing in a dim-lit room as she said, "Life is about opening doors. Creating new dreams you never knew could exist." Soon, she was joined by Miquela before the two shared a long kiss. After that, Bella and Miquela stared at each other for a while before the light dimmed and the screen faded to black.
The aim of the campaign was to capture the essence of individuality and expression of the artists involved, but people instead accused the brand of queer-baiting due to the fact that Bella is straight. "The Calvin Klein ad where Bella Hadid makes out with Lil Miquela... 1. stop using lesbianism to sell your clothing.. we're not garnish for men," one said. "Not Bella Hadid and Lil Miquela queer baiting us," another wrote.
"Queer baiting with a problematic robot? Good job Calvin Klein!" a third snarked as one other said, "A whole new level of queer-baiting. Yes a straight girl and a female animated robot, such representation, definitely not for the money without giving any actually representation." Someone else sarcastically wrote, "Two straight people kissing for advertising. Ground breaking."
Calvin Klein has since offered an explanation and apologized to those who were offended by the ad. "The concept for our latest #MYCALVINS campaign is to promote freedom of expression for a wide range of identities, including a spectrum of gender and sexual identities," the statement from the brand read. "This specific campaign was created to challenge conventional norms and stereotypes in advertising. In this particular video, we explored the blurred lines between reality and imagination."
The statement continued to read, "We understand and acknowledge how featuring someone who identifies as heterosexual in a same-sex kiss could be perceived as queerbaiting. As a company with a longstanding tradition of advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, it was certainly not our intention to misrepresent the LBGTQ+ community. We sincerely regret any offense we caused."