In a statement published on Twitter Friday, the clothing brand addressed backlash it received for featuring Hadid kissing a robot called Miquela ― which has its own Instagram page ― in a video for an ad campaign.
Here at CALVIN KLEIN, we welcome all types of constructive feedback from our community. We see your comments and we appreciate them. We'd like to offer our thoughts in response to comments on our campaign video featuring Bella Hadid and Lil Miquela. pic.twitter.com/OIcIekyR9K
— CALVIN KLEIN (@CalvinKlein) May 17, 2019
Calvin Klein acknowledged that featuring Hadid, "someone who identifies as heterosexual," in a "same-sex kiss" could be interpreted as queerbaiting, an exploitative tactic used to tease a queer romance to draw viewers in without any intention of fully developing or representing LGBTQ people and relationships.
"As a company with a longstanding tradition of advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, it was certainly not our intention to misrepresent the LGBTQ+ community. We sincerely regret any offense we caused," the statement said.
The brand also noted in its statement that the video was intended to "promote freedom of expression for a wide range of identities, including a spectrum of gender and sexual identities."
A representative for Hadid didn't immediately return HuffPost's request for comment.
"Who is gonna tell Calvin Klein you're supposed to wait until June for your tone-deaf queer-bait ad campaigns!!" she wrote. "Lil miquela and bella hadid out here smooching two weeks too early!!!
who is gonna tell Calvin Klein you're supposed to wait until June for your tone-deaf queer-bait ad campaigns!! lil miquela and bella hadid out here smooching two weeks too early!!!
— Madison Malone Kircher (@4evrmalone) May 16, 2019
"Life is about" what? This is a total queer bait ...
Bella Hadid kisses Lil Miquela in new Calvin Klein commercial ... https://t.co/FYbQMvoPwY
— Ottavio (@OttavioGM) May 17, 2019