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Jameela Jamil Slams the Met Gala and ‘Selective Cancel Culture’

Jameela Jamil as Tahani Al-Jamil in The Good Place

Jameela Jamil is speaking out against the Met Gala for honoring Karl Lagerfeld and those who demonstrated “selective cancel culture” by ignoring the designer’s controversial history. The 2023 Met Gala took place on May 1st, marking one of the biggest nights of the year for fundraising and fashion. However, while the event is always highly anticipated as fans enjoy seeing the bold fashion statements of their favorite celebrities, this year’s Met Gala had a damper on it due to the event’s decision to make its theme “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty.”

This meant that the biggest night in fashion was largely a tribute to the late German fashion designer Lagerfeld, who passed away in 2019. Hence, many celebrities wore outfits inspired by Lagerfeld’s designs, but some even took t he Lagerfeld tribute further, such as Florence Pugh having a portrait of Lagerfeld and his cat Choupette painted on one fingernail. The problem with this Lagerfeld theme and the numerous Lagerfeld tributes is that Lagerfeld was notoriously fatphobic, racist, and sexist, having publicly body-shamed women and spoken out against sexual assault survivors and the #MeToo movement.

Some celebrities, like Pedro Pascal and Lizzo, got creative in using the night to subtly shade Lagerfield by seemingly wearing and embracing styles that he would’ve hated.

However, countless other celebrities attended and completely ignored Lagerfeld’s controversies while honoring him with their styles. Now, Jamil is speaking out against the Met Gala’s decision to honor Lagerfeld, and she had some choice words for those who attended the event.

Jameela Jamil slams the 2023 Met Gala

Jamil took to Instagram to share her thoughts on the Met Gala, and she didn’t hold back in reprimanding those who attended. In her post, she slammed the Met Gala’s decision to celebrate “a man who was so publicly cruel to women, to fat people, to immigrants and to sexual assault survivors.” However, she also went on to express shock at the number of people, such as attendees and the media, who chose to completely ignore Lagerfeld’s history. Jamil also pointed out the blatant hypocrisy of the whole night due to what she called “selective cancel culture.”

Efforts have been growing in recent times to attempt to minimize the platforms of those who have committed crimes or tried to spread bigotry and hatred. Many are starting to realize that you can’t separate art from the artist. We’ve seen this play out in the recent efforts to boycott Hogwarts Legacy due to J.K. Rowling’s transphobic stances and in the critical reaction to early reviews of The Flash that praised Ezra Miller while glossing over their numerous controversies, as well as in the continued efforts to prevent disgraced stars like Armie Hammer, James Franco, and Kevin Spacey from re-establishing their careers. However, these efforts seem disconnected from events like the 2023 Met Gala, at which so many celebrities at best looked the other way and, more accurately, openly celebrated a man who used his platform to spread hate and cruelty towards women and other marginalized groups.

Jamil called out these Met Gala attendees for deciding that they suddenly “can separate art from the artists when *convenient*.” In her post, Jamil conflates social issues and events like the Met Gala with political movements but that’s hardly unwarranted. Conservatives already love to take aim at “cancel culture,” and tired attacks on these efforts to quell bigotry and abuse are a huge part of the GOP’s platform. Now, as Jamil pointed out, the double standard expressed at the Met Gala will only aid as another example for them to use to discredit and attack prominent liberal celebrities and the wider culture they represent to many.

Back on October 1, 2022, when the theme was first announced, Jamil also spoke out against it and dove a bit deeper into the problem of honoring Lagerfeld.

In her original post, she explained that one can’t claim to be an “advocate” for a group of people, but then celebrate a man who trampled on those same marginalized groups just because they wanted to attend a star-studded event. Jamil’s posts condemning the Met Gala highlight that one can’t be selective when it comes to standing up for their principles and morals, as inconsistency and exceptions only diminish trustworthiness and make entire movements ring hollow.

(featured image: NBC)

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Rachel Ulatowski is an SEO writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, YA literature, celebrity news, and coming-of-age films. She has over two years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.