Furious Elton John urges fans to boycott ‘archaic’ Dolce and Gabbana after they label his IVF children ‘chemical and synthetic’
- Sir Elton John has called for a boycott of designers Dolce and Gabbana
- He posted a rant on Instagram after Italians called IVF babies ‘synthetic’
- Domenico Dolce told a magazine he was against ‘chemical children’
- He was formerly in a relationship with business partner Stefano Gabbana
- Other celebrities joined outcry against designer’s controversial comments
- Sir Elton had two sons with help of a surrogate and artificial insemination
He is hardly a stranger to high-profile spats.
But Sir Elton John’s latest celebrity row is more personal than most – as it involves his two young sons.
The singer has called for a boycott of fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana after they dismissed children born via IVF as ‘synthetic’.
Sir Elton, who has two sons with his husband with the help of a surrogate and artificial insemination, has joined a campaign to snub the D&G brand after the Italians called such children ‘chemical’ offspring.
Anger: Sir Elton John, pictured with his husband David Furnish and their children Elijah and Zachary, has called for a boycott of designers Dolce & Gabbana after they criticised children born via IVF
Posting a picture of the designers – who were a couple for 23 years – on photo sharing website Instagram yesterday, Sir Elton wrote: ‘How dare you refer to my beautiful children as “synthetic”.
‘And shame on you for wagging your judgmental little fingers at IVF – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children.
‘Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana.’
His comments came after Mr Dolce told Italian magazine Panorama that procreation ‘should be an act of love’, adding: ‘You are born and you have a father and mother. At least it should be like that. That’s why I’m not convinced by what I call chemical children, synthetic babies.
‘They are wombs for hire, semen chosen from a catalogue. And then you have to explain to these children who their mother is.’
Asked whether he wanted to be a father, Mr Dolce said: ‘I am gay. I cannot have a child. I don’t believe that you can have everything in life.’ Mr Gabbana added: ‘The family is not a fad. It is a supernatural sense of belonging.’
Yesterday, the row escalated as Mr Gabbana posted a picture of Sir Elton on Instagram and wrote: ‘Who wants to see him dressed in Dolce & Gabbana?’
He also shared an image of a mother and child, writing: ‘We live in a democratic country and respect for the ideas of others is essential.’
‘SHAME ON YOU’: ELTON JOHN’S FURIOUS RANT AGAINST DESIGNERS
‘How dare you refer to my beautiful children as “synthetic”.
‘And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children.
‘Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions.
‘I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana’
Dr Gillian Lockwood of the Midland Fertility Centre said she was ‘speechless’ at the Italians’ comments. She said: ‘If there’s anything more “synthetic” than Dolce and Gabbana I don’t know what it is.’
The sister of Louise Brown, the world’s first ‘test tube baby’, called their views ‘shocking’. Natalie Brown, 32, said: ‘They are small minded, pathetic little people.’
A string of prominent celebrities lined up to condemn the pair, many drawing on their own experiences as the parents of children born via IVF.
Ricky Martin, the gay singer whose twin sons were carried by a surrogate mother, wrote on Twitter: ‘Your voices are too powerful to be spreading too much hate. Wake up, it’s 2015. Love yourself guys.’
Ryan Murphy, the creator of TV show Glee, added: ‘These designers’ horrifying views are never in fashion. Their clothes are as ugly as their hate.’
Former tennis star Martina Navratilova, who married her female partner in December, wrote in support: ‘Wow – I had no idea. It will be interesting to see if this ridiculousness hurts them in the bank.’
Sharon Stone, who has three adopted children, told E! News: ‘We must meet this type of cruelty towards children who are in need and want homes and families with love and open homes.’
Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell joined Mr John in calling for a boycott, telling the Guardian: ‘It’s quite outrageous that two gay fashion designers who have relied on the gay community for much of their success are opposing gay equality.’
But others supported the designers, with one Instagram user writing on Sir Elton’s account: ‘They just expressed their opinion.’
Mr Gabbana said in a statement last night: ‘We believe firmly in democracy and we think freedom of expression is essential for that.’
Mr Dolce added that his views were informed by his Roman Catholic upbringing in a traditional Sicilian family ‘made up of a mother, a father and children.’
He continued: ‘I am very well aware of the fact that there are other types of families and they are as legitimate as the one I’ve known.’
The following year, he revealed that he had asked a female friend to be a surrogate mother to his children, but added: ‘I am opposed to the idea of a child growing up with two gay parents.
‘A child needs a mother and a father. I could not imagine my childhood without my mother. I also believe that it is cruel to take a baby away from its mother.’
Sir Elton married long-term partner David Furnish in December. Their sons Zachary and Elijah are four and two.
The singer’s previous spats include one with Madonna, whom he called a ‘fairground stripper’.
The billionaire fashion duo with an A-list clientele who were a couple for 23 years
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana came from modest backgrounds to become two of the richest men in Italy.
Dolce, 56, was born near Palermo, Sicily, where his father was a tailor and his mother worked in a shop selling fabric and clothes.
He met Gabbana, 52 – who was born in Milan to a factory worker father and laundress mother – in a club in the early 1980s.
They moved in together in 1983 and founded Dolce & Gabbana fashion house in 1985. Their big break then came in 1993 when Madonna signed them to design costumes for her Girlie tour – including her famous black beaded bra.
The pair ended their relationship after more than 20 years in 2005, admitting they had ‘been drifting apart for five years’.
But they remained business partners, with Gabbana describing his friend as ‘my family’ after the break-up.
They revealed in a 2010 interview that they lived in identical apartments one floor above the other in the same building in Milan.
They also own luxury homes in France and London, as well as hosting lavish parties on their yacht in Monaco.
In 2013 the businessmen joined Bloomberg’s prestigious Billionaires’ Index, with Dolce’s net worth estimated at $2.2billion (£1.5billion) and Gabbana’s at around $2.1billion.
They were also acquitted of tax evasion by Italy’s highest court in October last year, which overruled decisions by two lower courts to hand them a 20-month suspended sentence for failing to pay tax on around 200million euros (£142million).
They were accused of funnelling funds through a firm in Luxembourg, but following their acquittal issued a statement saying: ‘We have always been honest.’
Their brand remains a celebrity favourite and has been worn by A-listers including Kylie Minogue, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.
CELEBRITY SAME-SEX COUPLES WITH CHILDREN VIA SURROGACY AND IVF
Sir Elton John and David Furnish
Sir Elton John and his husband David Furnish had two sons together, Zachary, four, and Elijah, two, with the help of a surrogate and artificial insemination.
They were both born to the same surrogate mother, but David Furnish has been named as the mother on the birth certificates of both children.
The couple have decided not reveal the name of their newborn’s biological mother.
The How I Met your Mother actor and his partner David Burtka have four-year-old fraternal twins – Gideon Scott, a boy, and Harper Grace, a girl.
The process involved two embryos, one for each of them – and a surrogate who Burtka said was ‘more like the oven.’
Both men knew the surrogate, but the egg donor – who they found through a donation bank and thus were able to research her personal and medical history – was anonymous. Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris and his partner have both said they have ‘no interest’ in learning which twin is their biological child.