Met Gala 2023: Jameela Jamil slams Met Gala for celebrating the life and work of Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld
The actress and body positivity advocate slammed the late creative director as "cruel". Photo credit: Getty Images

By Issy Ronald of CNN

Actress and body positivity advocate Jameela Jamil has slammed the Met Gala for celebrating Karl Lagerfeld - the influential fashion designer who died in 2019.

Jamil, best known for starring in NBC's The Good Place, wrote in a post to her 3.7 million Instagram followers that "Hollywood and fashion said the quiet part out loud when a lot of famous feminists chose to celebrate at the highest level a man who was so publicly cruel to women, to fat people, to immigrants and to sexual assault survivors."

"Nobody has perfect morals, least of all me, but Jesus Christ we had a year to course correct here, and not award the highest honor possible to a known bigot," she added.

The gala's theme this year coincided with an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, titled Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty, which a Met spokesperson told CNN aligned with the museum's "mission to explore art and creativity from the ancient times through today, and to examine moments of great importance and impact so we can gain a deeper understanding of art and history and invite dialogue and further reflection."

"This year's Costume Institute exhibition does just that, by presenting the work of a singularly impactful designer - Karl Lagerfeld - whose innovation and unique working methodology have made undeniably seismic contributions to the worlds of both fashion and art."

CNN also reached out to Vogue, which organises the gala, for comment.

Celebrities, fashion elite and New York's high society walked the famous red carpet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday (local time), wearing extravagant ensembles that paid homage to Lagerfeld, who was best known for transforming Chanel into one of the world's most valuable fashion houses during his time as its creative director.

But for all his influence as a designer, he was also a controversial figure, making a number of disparaging statements that upheld narrow standards of beauty or cast criticism on the #MeToo movement.

He also sparked outrage in 2017 when he criticised then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel for offering refuge to people fleeing conflict.

"This isn't about cancel culture," Jamil added in her caption. "It's not even about Karl. It's about showing how selective cancel culture is within liberal politics, in the most blatant way so far."

She added that "slippery tactics and double standards like this" contribute to an erosion of trust toward liberals.

Jamil, whose body positivity Instagram account 'I Weigh' has more than a million followers, previously criticised the Met Gala in October, calling the theme a "disappointing double standard" in the industry and pointing out that Lagerfeld's comments were made more recently.