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After an interview during which Dolce and Gabbana spoke out against “nontraditional” families, the designers are facing a boycott from celebrities including Elton John.
“The only family is the traditional one,” Dolce said. “No chemical offspring and rented uterus: life has a natural flow; there are things that should not be changed.”
Dolce added, “I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Uteri [for] rent, semen chosen from a catalog.”
Dolce and Gabbana both identify as gay, and were a couple for over twenty years, but do not support same-sex marriage. In a 2006 interview, Gabbana said that while he had once approached a female friend to be the surrogate mother of his child, he was “opposed to the idea of a child growing up with two gay parents.”
LGBT News Italia introduced the #boycottdolcegabbana hashtag in reaction to the Panorama interview, and it’s already catching on. Elton John, who is raising two sons with his husband David Furnish, posted on Instagram to hit back against the two designers.
How dare you refer to my beautiful children as “synthetic”. And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children. Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana
A photo posted by Elton John (@eltonjohn) on
“How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic,'” he wrote. “Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again.”
Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton chimed in to support the boycott, along with many others.
Dolce and Gabbana are yet to respond publicly to the backlash, although Gabbana has since posted a photo of a mother and child on his Instagram, tagged #dgmamma and #dgfamily.
This is not the first time Dolce and Gabbana have been on the receiving end of a celebrity boycott. Along with the controversy caused by their opposition to LGBT equality, they offended many people with their spring 2013 collection, which was widely perceived to be racist. At the time, Azealia Banks tweeted that she was boycotting the brand, accusing Dolce and Gabbana of using “black mammie imagery” and saying the designers needed “a swift kick in the mouth.”
Update 12:41pm CT, March 16: Stefano Gabbana has since posted more than 50 images and Instagram screengrabs responding to the controversy, mostly in Italian. He ended with a quote saying that he and Domenico Dolce “firmly believe in democracy and the fundamental principle of freedom of expression that upholds it,” adding that they did not intend to judge other people’s choices.
Photo via Ernst Vikne/Wikimedia (CC BY SA 2.0)
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor