After a recent incident involving an advertisement for Calvin Klein featuring straight model Bella Hadid kissing female robot Lil Miquela; the company has faced a lot of backlash from online communities.
The situation quickly drew attention from many sides, with people criticizing the company for not going with a real-life model who is actually gay, to begin with.
According to the many comments that have been going around, there is no shortage of options for models the company could have picked in this regard.
It is not clear why they went with that option in this context, and there has been a lot of speculation over the company’s possible motives.
Moreover, now, Calvin Klein has issued an official apology over the incident, attempting to explain their point of view and claiming that it was a harmless mistake that was not supposed to reach such proportions.
The company stressed the fact that they had no intention of “queer baiting” anyone, and that they had designed the ad with good intentions in mind.
They also pointed to the fact that they have a long-running history of advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, and have been actively involved in those communities for quite some time.
The statement read: "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. This specific campaign was created to challenge conventional norms and stereotypes in advertising."
It went on to say: "In this particular video, we explored the blurred lines between reality and imagination. We understand and acknowledge how featuring someone who identifies as heterosexual in a same-sex kiss could be perceived as queer-baiting."
It concluded by: "As a company with a longstanding tradition of advocating for LGTBQ+ rights, it was certainly not our intention to misrepresent the LGTBQ+ community. We sincerely regret any offense we caused."
The explanation saw mixed responses, with some people calming down, while others are pointing out that Calvin Klein has some making up to do if they want to retain their reputation.
It does look like the controversy is mostly cooling down at this point though -- many expected things to get much worse for the company.
Did Calvin Klein do something right or wrong?