PETA Defends Its 'Honest Remarks' About Karl Lagerfeld After Being Criticized for Insensitive Tweet
WENN/Lia Toby

The animal rights organization is under fire after posting a tweet that appears to celebrate the fashion designer's death.

AceShowbiz - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was among those who quickly reacted after news broke that Karl Lagerfeld passed away at 85. But the organization's statement of condolences didn't sit well with many who accused PETA of celebrating the fashion designer's death.

The tweet, which was posted on the official Twitter account of PETA, read, "Karl Lagerfeld has gone, and his passing marks the end of an era when fur and exotic skins were seen as covetable. PETA sends condolences to our old nemesis's loved ones."

Many Twitter users took to the comment section to blast the nonprofit corporation for its "cruel," "insensitive," "disrespectful" and "cold" remarks that turned Karl's death into an anti-fur campaign.

One wrote, "You organization is entitle to your own opinion on wearing furs. Your cruel condolence to Karl Lagerfeld was better left unsaid. Do you want to diss John the Baptist camel loincloth as well?" Another commented, "Appalling comment to make about a mans passing!"

"A bit cold on the announcement of someone's passing. Should care for all living beings, whether you agree with them, or like them," another replied to the tweet. Someone else schooled the account's administrator, "you should be ashamed of such a low level comment,someone just died. learn to be a little more human and then you can defend your visions. and don't get confused, i love animals and i am myself a vegetarian - but this is just a cruel/unnecessary tweet for a moment like this."

But PETA's co-founder Ingrid Newkirk appears to have no regrets about the tweet. Defending the earlier remarks, she says in a statement to PEOPLE and Fox News, "Perhaps you did not realize that I am almost 70, almost of the same generation as Mr. Lagerfeld, and that while I didn't design it, I wore fur for years. Hence, there is nothing snarky in the remark that those times have passed."

"Grief, with which I am familiar, is real, and so our condolences for anyone who loved and lost someone are too, regardless of that person's opposing position on fur," she adds, before concluding, "Slamming PETA expresses the commenters' nastiness: PETA expressed none."

Karl Lagerfeld died in Paris on Tuesday, February 19, after being rushed to hospital on Monday evening. He was the creative director of the French fashion house Chanel, a position he held from 1983 until his death.

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