Popular culture

7 of the Met Gala’s most unforgettable controversies

As the 2022 Met Gala fast approaches on May 2, we look back at some of the most unforgettable controversies surrounding the glitzy event.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute benefit, better known as the Met Gala, is one of the most coveted charity events, which takes place every year at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

It all started with humble roots in 1946, when each guest paid just $50 per ticket to help raise funds for the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute. From now on, the prestigious and star-studded Met Ball takes place under the watchful eye of Anna Wintour, vogueeditor-in-chief and president of the event since 1995 (excluding 1996 and 1998).

Over time, the event has become a crossroads between the world of art and popular culture. Given the changing landscape of celebrity culture, famous reality stars, YouTubers, and even social media influencers have started to grace the list of prom invites. This has set the stage for several scandalous exchanges and controversies surrounding the Met Gala over the years.

Here are seven of the most memorable Met Gala controversies

Actress Tina Fey described the Met Gala as a “parade of jerks”

The American actress, comedian, producer and playwright last attended the Met Gala in 2010, but hasn’t been back since. In 2015, in an interview with talk show host David Letterman, Fey described the star-studded evening as “a parade of assholes.”

She said: “All the jerks from all walks of life are out there wearing a stupid thing… It’s just everyone, if you had a million arms, that’s everyone you would punch in the whole world. “

Anna Wintour would have excluded Kim Kardashian from the list of invitations until 2013

Photo credit: Kim Kardashian/@kimkardashian/Instagram

The legendary vogue Editor-in-chief and fashion extraordinaire Anna Wintour reportedly refused to invite reality TV star Kim Kardashian to the Met Gala, until 2013. Even though the invite now extends to influencers and TikTok stars , Wintour reportedly banned the Kardashians from attending the gala because their reality show celebrity status wasn’t high enough for her liking.

However, it seems no bridges were burned after all, as Kim Kardashian then made her Met Gala debut with then-husband Kanye West in 2013. Kim and the entire Kardashian-Jenner family are now become a staple of the Met after being ignored by Wintour for years.

The headgear of Sarah Jessica Parker at the Met Ball 2015

The theme for the 2015 Met Gala was “China: Through the Looking Glass”, for which sex and the city actress Sarah Jessica Parker and many other guests donned outfits and accessories, which sparked controversy. By choosing to wear a not-so-subtle Philip Treacy headdress at the 2015 Met Ball, audiences felt Parker was reinforcing biased and inaccurate Asian stereotypes.

His gigantic helmet, made of massive scarlet flames adorned with large tassels of jade beads, drew mixed reactions. Many have accused the event and guests of cultural and racial appropriation. Sarah Jessica Parker’s costume has been criticized for conforming to the harmful “eastern dragon lady” stereotype.

Kendall Jenner’s see-through dress

Kendall Jenner La Perla
Image credit: La Perla/@laperlalingerie/Instagram

model and keeping up with the Kardashians The star, Kendall Jenner, stunned the world in an almost nude see-through gown at the Met Gala in 2017. Her crystal-encrusted La Perla gown, which had a thong back, drew mixed reactions from the public. While some people praised her for her fierceness and confidence, others complained that the dress was too sexual and pushed all kinds of boundaries.

However, the KUWTK starlet was unfazed by the nay-sayers. “It’s quite sexual, but yeah, it’s cool. It’s like, it’s very like, I don’t know. I always like something that’s a bit controversial, so that’s kind of it “, she said in a statement at the time, reported by Seduce.

Demi Lovato abruptly left the Met Gala

Demi Lovato at the 2016 Met Gala
Image credit: E! News/@enews/Instagram

Demi Lovato abruptly left the 2016 Met Gala because one of the celebs in attendance was a “complete b—-” at the party. Lovato – who came out non-binary in 2021 and uses “they/them” pronouns – shared that the anonymous person’s behavior at the 2016 Met Gala caused them to leave and attend an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting. , because they felt like drinking alcohol after the exchange.

“That celeb was a complete b— and was miserable to be there. It was very cliquey. I remember being so uncomfortable that I wanted to drink,” Demi revealed in a Billboard cover in 2018. The celebrity who annoyed them was reportedly singer Nicki Minaj.

The pop star had been in the spotlight due to his controversial and much-scrutinized substance abuse issues and a near-death experience from a drug overdose in 2018. They had been sober for many years until this incident .

The altercation between Solange and Jay Z

In an unexpected turn of events, singer-rapper Jay Z got into an argument with his wife, Beyoncé’s sister, Solange, in an elevator during the 2014 Met Gala. TMZ got their hands on CCTV footage of the incident, where Solange was seen violently attacking Jay Z in a fit of rage. In the video, she appeared to be kicking and slapping him with her purse and yelling at him, before a bodyguard was seen restraining her, before pressing stop. emergency – presumably to keep the fight private.

Other than stepping in front of her husband at one point, Beyoncé hasn’t been seen doing much to stop the fight or quell her sister’s outburst of anger. After remaining mums on the subject for the 10 days following the gala, the family finally addressed the controversial video in a statement to the Associated Press.

“Following the public release of elevator security footage from Monday, May 5 [2014], there has been much speculation as to what triggered this unfortunate incident,” the statement read. “But the most important thing is that our family overcame this ordeal. Jay and Solange each take their share of responsibility for what happened. They both recognize their role in this private affair which was played out publicly. They both apologized and we moved on as one family.”

The statement further read: “Reports that Solange was intoxicated or exhibited erratic behavior throughout this evening are simply untrue. At the end of the day, families have issues and we are no different. We love each other and above all we are a family. We’ve left that behind and hope everyone else does the same.”

encountered gala controversies
Jay-Z and Beyonce at the 2014 Met Gala, before Jay-Z got into an argument with his wife’s sister, Solange, in an elevator. (Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP)

Referring to the jarring incident in his 2017 song “Kill Jay Z” from his 13th studio album 4:44the rapper sings, “You pushed Solange to / Knowin’ all along / All you had to say you were wrong.”

Improper flashing and intrusion incident

In 2014, a man walked into the room and attempted to run down the Met Gala red carpet wearing nothing but a pink mankini and a gold chain, leaving little to the imagination. The unidentified “streaker” claimed his fifteen minutes of fame by happily disrupting the proceedings of the gala, before being dragged away by security.

(Main and featured image credit: Timothy A. Clary/ AFP)