Hundreds of women in the entertainment, music and fashion industry — from Oprah Winfrey to Rose McGowan — continue to speak up about their own sexual harassment stories, thanks to the #MeToo movement that picked up steam after the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke last year.
In the modeling world, famed photographer Terry Richardson was reportedly been blacklisted from working with magazines including Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ in the wake of years of sexual harassment allegations logged against him. A few months later, photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Weber were accused of sexual harassment by dozens of male assistants and models. And most recently, former Guess model Kate Upton called out the brand’s designer Paul Marciano for “sexually and emotionally harassing women” on set. (All of the accused have denied the allegations) But despite the groundswell of support for those who have chosen to share their stories, Chanel and Fendi creative director Karl Lagerfeld says he has had enough of the #MeToo movement.
In an interview with Numéro Magazine, Lagerfeld, 84, bluntly said he’s “fed up with it” after being asked about the outpouring number of models speaking up about harassment incidents they’ve experienced over the years.
“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,” Lagerfeld told Numéro. “All their accusations of harassment they have become quite toxic.”
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Despite that, Lagerfeld did admit he “cannot stand Mr. Weinstein.”
“He isn’t exactly what you might call a man of his word,” the designer continued.
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But Lagerfeld jumped to the defense of ousted Interview creative director Karl Templar, who faced misconduct allegations of his own in February. “As for the accusations against the poor Karl Templar, I don’t believe a single word of it,” he said.”
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“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. Its 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!”
Ultimately, from Lagerfeld’s perspective, models who speak up about sexual harassment they experience in the fashion industry renders designers unable to do their jobs.
He said, “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.”