The 2023 Met Gala saw a lot of fur, a few surprise guests, and — according to Jameela Jamil — a whole bunch of hypocrites. The Good Place actress took to Instagram this week in criticism of the event paying homage to Karl Lagerfeld, as well as the celebrities who showed up in outfits reminiscent of the late controversial designer.
Up until his death in 2019, Lagerfeld highly influenced haute couture through his work designing for fashion houses like Chanel and Fendi, and his eponymous label. But his legacy was also tarnished by his blatant fatphobia and Islamaphobia, as well as his opposition of the #MeToo movement: “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. “And all the women’s publications, and spectators online, chose to gleefully ignore it.”
Some of the night’s guests, like plus-size model Ashley Graham and Indigenous model Quannah Chasinghorse, chose outfits that nodded to Lagerfeld’s art while also giving a subtle middle finger to his abhorrent beliefs. It’s also worth noting that Jamil herself has been subject to numerous controversies, and has inadvertently centered herself in issues of fatphobia, homophobia, and transphobia under the guise of activism.
Regardless, Jamil seemed to think the theme of Lagerfeld was too far gone to subvert: “Nobody has perfect morals, least of all me, but Jesus Christ, we had a year to course-correct here and not award the highest honor possible to a known bigot,” she continued. “And everyone decided all of a sudden we can separate the art from the artist when convenient. Last night we relinquished our right to be taken at all seriously about anything important.”
In the comments of her post, Jamil went on: “This isn’t about cancel culture. It’s not even about Karl. It’s about showing how selective cancel culture is within liberal politics, in the most blatant way so far. It’s about showing why people don’t trust liberals. Because of slippery tactics and double standards like this. And it’s not just Hollywood here, the general public online participated and were entirely complicit in the erasure of the truth last night… If we carry on like this, don’t be shocked when we lose the next election.”
See Jamil’s post below.
The 2023 Met Gala was hosted by Penélope Cruz, Michaela Coel, Roger Federer, Dua Lipa, and as per usual, Anna Wintour. Met Gala regular Jared Leto is also set to play Lagerfeld in an upcoming biopic.