Who is John Phillip Fisher? Diploma certificate in Balenciaga campaign sparks further backlash online

New details uncovered in Balenciaga photoshoot (image via Twitter/@OliviaSebji)
New details uncovered in Balenciaga photoshoot (image via Twitter/@OliviaSebji)

Twitter users recently found a framed degree certificate of John Phillip Fisher - an 80-year-old man involved in a child s*xual abuse case - in the controversial Balenciaga campaign.

The Balenciaga x Adidas 2022 photoshoot featured model Khadim Sock standing in an office-like setting with a framed diploma certificate, among other props seen in the background.

The college diploma in question seems to be of John Philip Fisher, who was charged with seven counts of s*xual misconduct. He was convicted in 2018 for molesting his granddaughter.

He was out on bail but was soon taken into custody after Judge Parrott revoked his bond. Since the image of the certificate is blurred, the rumors are yet to be confirmed.

Netizens left horrified and enraged after more details in the Balenciaga photoshoot are uncovered

Internet users were mortified upon realizing the new details about John Phillip Fisher. Balenciaga is under fire again, with many pointing out the props were placed "on purpose," and that the brand is trying to normalize "pedophilia." They even called out celebrities who seem to be silent on the matter.

Here's what Twitter users are saying:

Balenciaga's 2023 spring ad campaign showed children carrying stuffed bears in what seemed to be BDSM gear. Netizens found the theme “creepy” and “disturbing,” leading to a massive public backlash.

Many disconcerting details have been found in the recent Balenciaga ad campaign upon closer inspection. While the photos have now been removed from the luxury fashion brand's website, Twitter users have not stopped analyzing them online, pointing out subtle hints of "pedophilia" and "child exploitation."

Numerous strange props spotted around the photographs have led many to conclude these were done intentionally. Here are some of the disturbing prop choices:

  1. A photo of a female model with her feet propped up shows a white book by Belgian artist Michael Borremans, The Badger’s Song, in the background. The book features some eerie and haunting images like a child covered in blood, a n*ked boy with a severed arm, and a block-robed child holding a flaming severed leg to name a few.
  2. Under Michael Borreman's book, there is another one, The Cremaster Cycle by Matthew Barney. According to Natly Denise's Twitter post, the artist's work included "themes of pedophilia, blood ritual, dark religiosity, occultism, [and] racism."
  3. Another photograph of a young boy in a playroom with the infamous bondage bear bag also features a roll of caution tape with the brand's name spelled as "BAALenciaga." Baal is a Canaanite god to which children were sacrificed.
  4. One photo reportedly features court documents from a child s*xual abuse case.

Balenciaga is a popular brand among celebrities. After the public backlash, many started distancing themselves from the brand, including Bella Hadid and Kim Kardashian. Both have worked with the brand numerous times in the past.


The luxury fashion giant took to Instagram on November 22, issuing two public apology statements. They commented:

"We take this matter very seriously and are taking legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set and including unapproved items for our Spring 23 campaign photoshoot. We strongly condemn abuse of children in any form. We stand for children safety and well-being."

Even after Balenciaga issued an apology and took down the campaign, they have been feeling the public's wrath.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande
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