In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal that broke late last year, sexual harassment in the entertainment industry and beyond has been pushed to the forefront of cultural conversation. Leading females in Hollywood teamed up to create Time’s Up to combat mistreatment in the workplace, and create funds to help people who’ve experienced misconduct access legal help. Many have also joined the #MeToo movement, sharing their own stories of sexual harassment with the world. And while the support from the fashion industry has been widespread, one famous designer, who has dressed some of Hollywood’s elite, has spoken out against the movement.
Last week in a new interview with Numéro Magazine, Chanel and Fendi creative director Karl Lagerfeld shared his opinion about the movement. “I’m fed up with it,” he revealed. “What shocks me most in all of this are the starlets who have taken 20 years to remember what happened. Not to mention the fact there are no prosecution witnesses.”
He continued that he will not change the way he approaches work now that #MeToo has gained momentum. “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 also discussed the misconduct accusations against the creative director at Interview magazine, Karl Templar, calling them untrue. “I don’t believe a single word of it. A girl complained he tried to pull her pants down and he is instantly excommunicated from a profession that up until then had venerated him. 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!”
In response, a few celebrities have spoken out against the designer. Chrissy Teigen tweeted that “surely there is an in-between” referring to his comment that models should join a nunnery if they don’t want “someone pulling down their panties.”
Rose McGowan, an early supporter of the movement who was one of the first to share her harrowing story of alleged abuse by Weinstein, also shared her thoughts on Twitter. “Karl, your cruelty is tired. You’ve made so much money off of women’s insecurities, time for you to ride off into the victim shaming sunset. #BoycottChanel #SisterIrene,” she wrote posing alongside a nun.
Comedian Whitney Cummings had this to say: “Karl Lagerfeld is fed up with the #MeToo. Well, I’m fed up with rich old entitled white guys with ponytails who make their money off women insecurities.”
While Lagerfeld does not stand with the #MeToo movement, he has voiced his disapproval of Harvey Weinstein’s actions. “I cannot stand Mr Weinstein. I had a problem with him at amfAR. I’ll spare you the details, but he isn’t exactly what you might call a man of his word.”