Days after gay fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana told an Italian magazine that children born through in vitro fertilization or egg donation are "synthetic," the fashion heavy hitters have issued statements walking back their controversial remarks, reports The Huffington Post.
The business and former romantic partners ignited a social media firestorm for their Friday comments, which claimed "the only family is the the traditional one" and disparaged what they called "children of chemistry, uteri for rent, [and] semen chosen from a catalog."
The out designers' comments raised the ire of several high-profile celebrity parents who are gay, including Sir Elton John, Perez Hilton, Ryan Murphy, Ricky Martin, and Dan Bucatinsky. Each took to Twitter to rebut the designers' antifamily claims, adding the hashtag #BoycottDolceGabbana as a call to action.
After a weekend spent posting more than 50 Instagram images that slammed John as a "fascist" who was quashing "freedom of thought" and even saying the call for a boycott of D&G is as outrageous as would be a theoretical call to boycott John to protest his children, Gabbana issued a statement Monday morning attempting to explain the motivation behind their remarks.
"We firmly believe in democracy and the fundamental principle of freedom of expression that upholds it," Gabbana said in an Instagram post Monday. "We talked about our way of seeing reality, but it was never our intention to judge other people's choices. We do believe in freedom and love."
Gabbana also posted a statement from Dolce Monday morning, which appeared to blame the designer's Sicilian upbringing for his intolerant and exclusive definition of family. Notably, neither fashion guru — who are some of the richest gay men in the world — apologized for insulting John or parents of children conceived through IVF in general, nor did the statements indicate the designers had changed their beliefs.
"I'm Sicilian and I grew up in a traditional family, made up of a mother, a father and children," said Dolce in the statement posted on Gabbana's Instagram. "I am very well aware of the fact that there are other types of families and they are as legitimate as the one I've known. But in my personal experience, family had a different configuration. That is the place where I learnt the values of love and family. This is the reality in which I grew up, but it does not imply that I don't understand different ones. I was talking about my personal view, without judging other people's choices and decisions."