After generating controversy with a video that promoted Medical Assistance in Dying, Simons has removed the ad from their website.
You can get Aleteia inspiration and news in your inbox. Our specially curated newsletter is sent each morning. The best part? It's free.
Canadian fashion giant La Maison Simons, known better simply as “Simons,” has generated controversy with an advertisement that featured a terminally ill woman who elected to end her life by physician’s assisted suicide (PAS). Now, the company has pulled the video without comment, removing it from YouTube and its website.
The ad, titled “All Is Beauty,” follows a woman identified only as “Jennyfer” who suffered from an unnamed terminal illness and was euthanized in October. Prior to her death, however, she worked with Simons to record the video and voice-overs to make the commercial. The footage shows what seems to be a celebration of Jennyfer’s decision, with her and her loved ones spending time on a beach, blowing bubbles, watching puppets, playing music, and sharing a meal. All the while, Jennyfer’s narration remarks on the beauty in the world and the “bravery it takes to see it,” even while seeking help to end one’s life.
A spokesperson had stated that the video was not a commercial, and to be fair it did not seem to be promoting Simons’ merchandise. Still, in its attempt to present euthanasia as something normal or “beautiful,” it can be viewed as an advertisement for Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD), a law that has allowed Canadians to seek euthanasia in cases of terminal illness. According to Fox, more than 30,000 Canadians have died from MAiD since it was introduced in 2016.
According to Unheard’s Mary Harrington, who wrote about the commercial on November 28, the original video was about three minutes long and was released on the Simons website. Now, however, the video’s page has been deleted from the website and the copy on YouTube has been made private. While the three-minute ad was pulled, the above-featured shorter version can still be viewed from a third party.
The company also pulled an accompanying video in which former CEO Peter Simons explained and defended its contents. According to the Christian Post, Peter Simons commented:
“We wanted to do something that really underlined human connection, and perhaps would help people reconnect to each other, and to this hope and optimism that is going to be needed if we’re going to build the sort of communities and spaces that we want to live in and that are enjoyable to live in,” Simons said.
As of this writing the company has issued no comment on taking down the video.