Jameela Jamil is calling out everyone involved with this year’s Met Gala for honoring Karl Lagerfeld, who notoriously made cruel comments about fat people and the Me Too movement, among other things. In an Instagram post on Tuesday, the actress wrote that by participating, people were choosing to “gleefully ignore” Lagerfeld’s behavior and “separate the art from the artist when convenient.” The whole thing, she wrote, was an example of “how selective cancel culture is within liberal politics.”
“Last night Hollywood and fashion said the quiet part out loud when a lot of famous feminists chose to celebrate at the highest level a man who was so publicly cruel to women, to fat people, to immigrants and to sexual assault survivors,” Jamil wrote, noting that “it’s not just Hollywood here, the general public online participated and were entirely complicit in the erasure of the truth last night.”
Jamil isn’t the only one upset about the choice to honor Lagerfeld, who died in 2019. HF Twitter Met Gala, a group of young fashion enthusiasts, tweeted that it wouldn’t celebrate this year’s gala because “our values don’t align with the selection of Karl Lagerfeld as the theme.” It also isn’t the first time Jamil has spoken out against the designer, who was close friends with Anna Wintour and beloved by many celebrities. “He 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,” Jamil said last October after the gala’s theme was announced.
Lagerfeld’s most controversial comments include saying that “no one wants to see curvy women” in 2009 and calling Adele “a little too fat” in 2012. In 2018, he said he was “fed up” with 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. They’re recruiting even!”
Andrew Bolton, the Met Museum Costume Institute’s curator in charge, told the Business of Fashion that the exhibition intentionally avoided engaging with Lagerfeld’s problematic and hateful comments. In her review of the show, the Cut’s fashion critic-at-large, Cathy Horyn, wrote that the exhibition “is far less concerned with the man and the myth than the work he produced over his seven-decade career.”