Jameela Jamil Calls Karl Lagerfeld a 'Ruthless, Fat-Phobic Misogynist' Following His Death

The actress and activist says the designer was "talented for sure, but not the best person"

While a number of stars and fashion visionaries posted heartfelt tributes to the late Karl Lagerfeld following his death, actress Jameela Jamil is calling out the designer for some controversial comments he made during his 65-year career in the fashion industry.

The body positive activist shared an article from feminist website Wear Your Voice titled, “Stop Mourning Oppressors: Condolences For Karl Lagerfeld” on Twitter along with a brutally honest statement calling out the fashion industry icon for his past fat-shaming remarks.

“I’m glad somebody said it. Even if it is a little soon. A ruthless, fat-phobic misogynist shouldn’t be posted all over the internet as a saint gone-too-soon,” Jamil wrote.

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David Crotty/Patrick McMullan/Getty; Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty

Though she did acknowledge his impact on the fashion world, she notes that it shouldn’t undermine his offensive actions. “Talented for sure, but not the best person,” the actress added.

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Jamil’s tweet sparked much debate in her replies on Twitter, so she posted a follow-up, writing, “Gonna write an essay about this instead of trying to put my thoughts on this into a tweet. How problematic the industry has been for girls is too complex for this,” she said.

While some fans appreciated Jamil’s activism, others thought her tweet was disrespectful. “Regardless if your opinion is right or wrong, a lot of people seem to have liked and respected this person. Do you think it would be more respectful to voice your opinion after he’s been mourned by friends and family?” one person replied.

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Another person added, “It amazed me how someone can take their time to spread smt negative against someone WHO HAS DIED YESTERDAY. Maybe don’t show respect but if you don’t have anything positive to say,or didn’t understand this guy, just don’t say anything bc nothing is going to change.”

Cara Delevingne, who worked with Lagerfeld before his passing, jumped into the conversation which ultimately became a back-and-forth between the actress and model on Twitter.

“It saddens me deeply that anyone was hurt, that I do not condone. It is not possible to go through life without hurting people. He was not a saint, he is a human being like all of us who made mistakes and we should all have the chance to be forgiven for that,” Delevingne wrote in response to Jamil’s initial tweet.

Jamil defending herself by saying, “Again, we can’t chalk decades of abusive rhetoric towards minorities as “being human” or “ making mistakes” doing it once as a joke and then apologizing is one thing, doing it again and again in spite of public outcry is a bad human. I’m sorry to speak ill of someone you love.”

Then Delevingne said, “I agree with you but please don’t call him a bad human, that is simply not fair. We should be talking about the people alive, in power, ruling the world who are hurting, destroying far more lives than this man who has passed only yesterday.”

In Jamil’s final response to Delevingne, she called the British model and actress “thin, white and incredibly privileged.”

“But cara, his cruel words weren’t directed at you…So you don’t feel the pain of his bad behavior. There is never a good time to talk about this really. So much glory to someone who punched down, frequently. I’m sorry. X,” Jamil added.

Throughout Lagerfeld’s life, he was known for his sharp wit, self-mockery and cunning statements, but many were quite controversial.

He once called singer Adele “a little too fat” and opened up about the #MeToo movement in 2018 saying he was “fed up” with it, telling models to “join a nunnery” to avoid the possibility of misconduct.

Fendi show Spring / Summer 2010 Milan Fashion Week, Milan, Italy - 27 Sep 2009
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He also had a rocky relationship with PETA for defending his use of fur, crocodile, lizard and snake skins. Like Jamil, the animal rights organization came under fire for releasing a statement just hours after Lagerfeld’s passing that left many shocked.

“Karl Lagerfeld has gone, and his passing marks the end of an era when fur and exotic skins were seen as covetable. PETA sends condolences to our old nemesis’s loved ones,” the statement from PETA President Ingrid Newkirk’s read.

Shortly after the statement went public, Twitter began slamming the organization for turning the designer’s death into an anti-fur campaign. “A bit cold on the announcement of someone’s passing. Should care for all living beings, whether you agree with them, or like them,” one person replied to the tweet.

Chanel : Runway - Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015
Dominique Charriau/WireImage

PETA expanded their “honest remarks and genuine condolences” in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE in response to the critics.

“Perhaps you did not realize that I am almost 70 [years old], almost of the same generation as Mr. Lagerfeld, and that while I didn’t design it, I wore fur for years,” Newkirk says. “Hence, there is nothing snarky in the remark that those times have passed. Grief, with which I am familiar, is real, and so our condolences for anyone who loved and lost someone are too, regardless of that person’s opposing position on fur.”

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