NYC Health Department, Met donors upset about Met Gala smoking photos
The 2017 Met Gala birthed several photos that many on the Internet would call “squad goals.” Group photos with celebrities such as Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney and Bella Hadid offered a glimpse into how fun and glamorous the first Monday evening in May at the Met Museum could be. However, the New York City Department of Health was not pleased.
Many of the memorable photos from the Met Gala involved smoking in the museum restroom. According to the Department of Health, the smoking celebrities violated the city’s Smoke-Free Air Act that went into effect in 2003. The act prohibits smoking in all workplaces, indoor recreational venues, restaurants and bars, including outdoor seating restaurants and bars.
Jacobs, McCartney, Hadid and actress Dakota Johnson and actor Rami Malek were all photographed smoking in the women’s restroom.
The New York Daily News obtained a letter from the Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett to the Met Museum Senior Vice President that read, “We were dismayed to read reports that some celebrities chose smoking as their fashion accessory and flagrantly violated New York City’s smoking laws.” Dr. Bassett also proposed that inspectors monitor the bathrooms during the next Met Gala.
Museum donors and board members were also upset about the celebrities gathering in the women’s restroom to smoke. One donor told Page Six, “As a donor to the Met, I was so insulted to see all these ‘celebrities’ smoking and taking selfies of themselves in the bathroom. Mostly, it’s disrespectful to the art collection which needs to be kept 100 percent smoke-free. I would honestly like to see these people fined by the city.”
Page Six also said that one board member was “horrified” by the display.
The Met responded to the Department of Health saying that it will “take steps to ensure this does not happen again.”
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