Brittany Aldean made headlines last week when she took a public stand against Balenciaga amid the brand’s ad campaign scandal.
The 34-year-old mother of two and wife of country star Jason Aldean shared a photo of herself hauling out clear plastic bags filled with Balenciaga clothing, handbags and shoes.
“It’s trash day,” Aldean declared in the caption of her Instagram post, tagging the luxury fashion house.
Balenciaga’s controversial holiday campaign featured children posing with teddy bear-shaped handbags that were wearing leather harnesses. The brand also drew backlash over a separate ad for its Spring/Summer ’23 campaign in which documents from a U.S. Supreme Court decision involving federal child pornography were allegedly used as a prop.
Balenciaga pulled the holiday ad campaign and issued an apology for “any offense” it may have caused.
The brand later apologized for “displaying unsettling documents” in the Spring/Summer ’23 campaign ad and said it would be pursuing legal action against the individuals who placed the text in the image. The luxury label’s creative director Demna also addressed the scandal on Friday and issued his own apology.
Aldean’s bold move stood out, primarily because many of Hollywood’s elite have remained silent on the scandal.
Stars who have been involved with the brand, including Salma Hayek, who is married to the owner of Balenciaga’s parent company Keurig, have yet to speak out.
A rep for Hayek did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Kim Kardashian, who is a brand ambassador for Balenciaga, also issued a statement in which she said she was “re-evaluating” her relationship with the fashion house.
Aldean has been outspoken in the past about her views concerning children. In September, the former “American Idol” contestant posted a video on Instagram with the caption, “I’d really like to thank my parents for not changing my gender when I went through my tomboy phase. I love this girly life.”
Aldean’s Instagram post was met with backlash because many believed her comments were transphobic, and she was slammed by country music singers Maren Morris and Cassadee Pope.
Pope tweeted that celebrities could “see the positives in including LGBTQ+ people in their messaging,” while Morris wrote on Twitter, “It’s so easy to, like, not be a scumbag human? Sell your clip-ins and zip it, Insurrection Barbie.”
Aldean doubled-down on her stance in response. In a post shared to her Instagram story, she wrote “Advocating for the genital mutilation of children under the disguise of love and calling it ‘gender affirming care,’ is one of the worst evils. I will always support my children and do what I can do protect their innocence.”
Amid the controversy, Jason’s public relations firm announced it was dropping the five-time Grammy Award nominee after 17 years.
However, Aldean stood by her remarks and said she was fighting to protect children during an appearance on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“I’m advocating for children,” she told Carlson. “I think that children should not be allowed to make these life-changing decisions at such a young age. They are not mature enough. They should have parents who love them and advocate for them regardless. We have ages on everything. We have it for cigarettes, driving, military, voting … yet, for some reason, people think that we can let a child choose their gender so young? It’s very baffling to me.
“There are so many consequences of doing that as such a young age,” she added. “Society should be able to sit back, speak our minds about it and fight for these children.”
Aldean also appeared to embrace Morris’ insult, debuting a line of Barbie-inspired T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase “Don’t tread on our kids.” In a post shared to her Instagram story, she said proceeds from the clothing line will go toward Operation Light Shine, a charity to “help fight child exploitation and human trafficking.”
Candace Cameron Bure is another public figure who refused to waver after becoming embroiled in a controversy over her personal beliefs.
The Hallmark Channel alum drew ire when she told The Wall Street Journal magazine that her new network, Great American Family, will not feature same-sex couples in their holiday movies.
“I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core,” she said in an interview published last month.
While Bure told the WSJ the network would not spotlight any LGBTQ storylines, Great American Media CEO Bill Abbott said that there was no set plan.
“It’s certainly the year 2022, so we’re aware of the trends,” Bill Abbott told WSJ. “There’s no whiteboard that says, ‘Yes, this’ or ‘No, we’ll never go here.'”
Bure’s comments sparked outrage online, and she was called out by celebrities, including Hilarie Burton, JoJo Siwa and Burton’s husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Burton slammed Bure, Abbott and the network as “disgusting” on Twitter.
“Now they’re just openly admitting their bigotry. I called this s— out years ago when Abbott was at Hallmark,” the “One Tree Hill” alum wrote. “Glad they dumped him. Being LGBTQ isn’t a ‘trend.’ That guy and his network are disgusting. You too Candy. There is nothing untraditional about same-sex couples.
“Bigot,” Burton added. “I don’t remember Jesus liking hypocrites like Candy. But sure. Make your money, honey. You ride that prejudice wave all the way to the bank.”
Abbott was formerly the CEO of Crown Media, the parent company of Hallmark Media, as well as the founder of the Hallmark Channel. He left the company in 2020 amid controversy after the Hallmark Channel pulled an ad featuring a lesbian couple.
Morgan took to Twitter to show his support for his wife’s comments. “The Walking Dead” star wrote, “How’d I miss this twit?! Who the f–k is this person? Hey Hil? You’re awesome. We lucky to have ya. X.”
Siwa, who came out in 2021, shared her thoughts in an Instagram post.
“Honestly, I can’t believe after everything that went down just a few months ago, that she would not only create a movie with intention of excluding LGBTQIA+, but then also talk about it in the press,” she wrote.
“This is rude and hurtful to a whole community of people.”
Bure’s “Full House” co-star Jodie Sweetin took to the comments section to show her support for Siwa. “You know I love you,” she wrote, adding two red heart emojis.
Bure later issued a statement obtained by Fox News Digital in which she responded to the backlash.
“All of you who know me, know beyond question that I have great love and affection for all people,” she wrote.” It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I intentionally would want to offend and hurt anyone.
“It saddens me that the media is often seeking to divide us, even around a subject as comforting and merry as Christmas movies. But, given the toxic climate in our culture right now, I shouldn’t be surprised.
“We need Christmas more than ever. I am a devoted Christian. Which means that I believe that every human being bears the image of God. Because of that, I am called to love all people, and I do.
“If you know me, you know that I am a person who loves fiercely and indiscriminately. My heart yearns to build bridges and bring people one step closer to God, to love others well, and to simply be a reflection of God’s huge love for all of us.
“To the members of the media responsible for using this opportunity to fan flames of conflict and hate, I have a simple message: I love you anyway. To those who hate what I value and who are attacking me online: I love you.”
“To those who have tried to assassinate my character: I love you. To everyone reading this, of any race, creed, sexuality, or political party, including those who have tried to bully me with name-calling, I love you.
“I have long wanted to find a home for more faith-based programming. I am grateful to be an integral part of a young and growing network.
“I had also expressed in my interview, which was not included, that people of all ethnicities and identities have and will continue to contribute to the network in great ways both in front of and behind the camera, which I encourage and fully support.”
Bure concluded her statement by saying, “And in the sole motivation of pure love, I hope you’ll join me in sharing God’s hope for all the world this Christmas season. Call that my Christmas wish.”
Some of the actress’ detractors took issue with her response, noting that she didn’t apologize for her remarks or specifically mention the LGBTQ community.
Siwa later told People magazine she and Bure hadn’t spoken, and she didn’t think that they ever will again.
Meanwhile, Bure made waves last week when she unfollowed Sweetin on Instagram amid reports that the two longtime friends are still feuding over the controversy.
Dave Chappelle is another star who has continued to defy his critics. The 49-year-old comedian has faced massive backlash over jokes he made last year about the transgender community during his Netflix comedy special “The Closer.”
During the special, Chappelle spent a significant period of time addressing his views on the LGBTQ+ community and specifically transgender people after being criticized for comments he had made in his previous comedy special “Sticks and Stones.”
In “The Closer,” the stand-up star stated that “gender is a fact.”
“Every human being in this room, every human being on Earth had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on Earth, that is a fact,” he said.
“Now I am not saying that to say that trans women aren’t women. I am just saying that those p—–s that they got … you know what I mean?” I’m not saying it’s not p—-, but that’s like beyond p—- or impossible p—-.”
Chappelle also defended “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, who has come under fire for sharing her views on gender, which were deemed transphobic by LGBTQ+ advocates and multiple stars from the “Harry Potter” franchise.
“They canceled J.K. Rowling – my God,” he said. “Effectively, she said gender was a fact, the trans community got mad as (expletive), they started calling her a TERF.”
“TERF” is an acronym that stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. Chappelle went on to claim that he was “team TERF.”
“The Closer” was met with outrage, with Netflix employees staging a walkout and protesting alongside activists.
Netflix stood by the comedian and released a memo telling employees to leave the company if they were offended by the special.
The company stated that “as employees we support the principle that Netflix offers a diversity of stories, even if we find some titles counter to our own personal values.”
Netflix also refused calls to remove the special from its platform. Neflix CEO Ted Sarandos has defended Chappelle, stating that comedians should have the freedom to joke. He said that part of comedy involves “crossing the line every once in a while.”
Chappelle remained unapologetic when he responded to the controversy in a video, stating, “I said what I said.”
He also said that he was willing to meet with members of the transgender community but added he was “not bending to anyone’s demands.”
Chappelle claimed that his documentary “Dave Chappelle: Live in Real Life” had been excluded from many film festivals. He thanked Sarandos for his support, noting that he was the “only one who didn’t cancel me yet.”
Over the past year, the comedian has continued to face criticism and boycotts. In July, a Minneapolis concert venue canceled his stand-up show hours before he was set to perform after receiving backlash on social media.
Chappelle didn’t address the controversy when he hosted “Saturday Night Live” in November, but his monologue was slammed as “antisemitic” by critics.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, public relations expert Kelcey Kintner shared her thoughts on the potential consequences and benefits of celebrities standing up for their beliefs.
“Each celebrity has to decide for themselves how they want to be perceived in the public eye,” she said. “If they choose to express views that are controversial, then they need to expect criticism and pushback. We live in a time where there is instant, very honest feedback from fans and critics on social media platforms. It’s just really impossible to hide if you’re going to delve into certain hot-button areas.”
“And for some celebs, any press is good press,” she added. “So some of them might even seek out this attention, and not care whether it’s positive or negative. They are just glad the public is talking about them. Others just try to stay focused on their work and not let all the social media noise bother them.”