Selena Gomez got quite the surprise when she helped kick off New York Fashion Week on Wednesday: She became the target of a sweatshop protest.
While seated in the front row of the fashion show featuring Adidas’ NEO line – for which Gomez and teen fashion bloggers helped select the 30 looks that walked the runway – the 19-year-old was approached by a woman who handed her a flyer pleading with her to “be an ambassador for children, not sweatshops.”
The protester proceeded to walk along the front row, handing out copies to as many other event-goers as she could. According to an omg! reporter who attended the event, the woman made it nearly all around the runway before being caught and escorted out by security, at which point a fellow protester popped out of the audience armed with more flyers … and was quickly grabbed by security.
In addition to calling out Gomez, the flyer – put out by a group called United Students Against Sweatshops – claims, among other things, that Adidas has refused to pay $1.8 million in legally owed severance to thousands of workers in Indonesia, who, claims the group, in turn can’t send their children to school.
Outside the Midtown Manhattan show, 15 or so people – including two former sweatshop workers – had gathered, holding up a banner that read, “Selena: Don’t be an ambassador for sweatshops.”