Influencer Hayley Kalil receives backlash over Met Gala video: ‘Let them eat cake!’

The influencer was accused of being ‘tone-deaf’ with her sound selection for her recent Met Gala TikTok video

Olivia Hebert
Los Angeles
Wednesday 08 May 2024 09:56 BST
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Influencer Haley Kalil has received swift backlash from the internet over a TikTok video of her 2024 Met Gala outfit.

Before attending fashion’s biggest night on Monday, the social media personality posted a video commemorating her elaborate gown and headdress designed by Marc Bower. However, according to viewers, Kalil committed an epic faux pas when she chose to soundtrack the video to the viral sound from Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, in which the late queen proclaims the oft-debated quote, “Let them eat cake!”

Historically, the quote is seen as emblematic of tone-deaf aristocrats and bourgeoisie class. The annual Met Gala is an evening in which the rich and famous congregate - from billionaires to acclaimed actors, everyone in attendance is either a known member of the one per cent or heavily-lauded masters of their craft. With the sheer exclusivity of the event coupled with Kalil’s use of a symbolic sound, it’s no surprise that viewers were quick to call the influencer out.

“Girl read the room,” one viewer wrote, while another added: “The sound choice that you’re using is wild. We are truly living in a dystopian world.”

A third joked, “Love this episode of the Twilight Zone.”

“Well, the audio and the dress is certainly an interesting choice,” someone else commented.

“That audio choice with everything going on... the jokes are writing themselves,” another noted.

Meanwhile, someone else added that the amount of money spent on the dress and ticket could have gone elsewhere. They wrote: “All that money spent could have helped so many people. This is tone-deaf.”

Others noted that everything about the video - from the dress to the sound - reminded them of the Hunger Games, particularly Elizabeth Banks’ character Effie Trinket. Though there were plenty of compliments as they were making the comparisons to the character, some pointed out the irony in resembling a character from the elite, privileged section of the fictional country of Panem.

“May the odds be forever in your favour,” one viewer referenced Trinket’s famous quote.

“It’s giving Effie,” someone gushed. “STUNNING.”

“I can’t afford [air conditioning] but I’m glad you get to do a cute Hunger Games cosplay,” one person wrote.

Some referenced the setting of District 12, the impoverished mining district where protagonist Katniss Everdeen was from. “Watching this from district 12,” one person commented. “Y’all are the capital, you get that right? One in five kids will go hungry this summer.”

Although the model may have simply been using the Marie Antoinette sound as a nod to the style inspiration behind the gown, viewers nonetheless deemed it in poor taste.

The Independent has contacted Kalil for comment.

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