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Italian fashion designers Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce tried Wednesday to defuse the controversy and calls for boycott of their Dolce & Gabbana business that was caused when Dolce was quoted in an Italian magazine calling IVF babies “synthetic children.”
In an exclusive interview with CNN, the designers tried to convey a message of tolerance.
Gabbana, who noted that he does support IVF, says that his business partner, with whom he was romantically involved until 2005, may have chosen “the wrong words.”
Gabbana added, “We love gay couples. We love gay adoption. We love everything.”
Dolce wouldn’t comment on whether he supports IVF, saying simply, “I don’t think today we need to support or not support. You think what you think.” His comments to the Italian magazine Panorama, he added, were his “private point of view,” which comes from his Sicilian background.
“I believe in the traditional family,” he said. “It is impossible to change my culture for something different. It’s me. … I respect all the world, all the culture.”
Dolce’s comments drew swift condemnation from Elton John, whose two children with husband David Furnish were conceived via IVF, with the musician posting on Instagram, “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic.’ Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana.”
Glee creator Ryan Murphy advocated a similar response, telling The Hollywood Reporter that he wouldn’t buy any Dolce & Gabbana clothing or use it in any of his productions, and he urged others in Hollywood to follow his lead.
“This is not just a gay issue,” the film and TV producer said. “I know 10 women in my life who used IVF to conceive — and three doing it right now. IVF is a scientific miracle that helps loving families fulfill their dreams. To tell them their choices as women — anyone’s choices on family — are not embraced, well, I don’t think they’ll be traipsing off to a Dolce & Gabbana store to buy clothes anytime soon.”
Dolce said he wouldn’t be boycotting Elton John and he believed that the two could resolve their differences.
“Every people resolve everything by talk. We start to talk, the problem is resolved,” Dolce said. “Every people [has] freedom for choosing what they want. This for me is democracy. I respect you because you choose what you want. I respect me because I choose what I want.”
Gabbana also thought that the social media backlash and calls for boycotting their business weren’t appropriate.
“Boycott Dolce & Gabbana for what? They don’t think like you? This is correct? This is not correct. We are in 2015. This is like medieval. It’s not correct,” Gabbana said.
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