‘Flaunt’ Magazine’s Guantanamo-Themed Coachella Party Surprisingly Backfires

The popular California music festival has its unconventional moments, but this one might be a bit too out there.

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Bob Strong/REUTERS

The exterior of Camp Delta is seen at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, March 6, 2013. The facility is operated by the Joint Task Force Guantanamo and holds prisoners who have been captured in the war in Afghanistan and elsewhere since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Flaunt Magazine committed the party planning faux pas when they decided to jump off the edge with a Guantanamo-themed after-party at this month’s Coachella festival, reported New York magazine.

The popular California music festival has its unconventional moments, but this one might be a bit too out there.

The stand-alone event made headlines after the fashion site Refinery29 posted an image of the NSFW invite, featuring an image of barely clad women holding rifles and party details including “playful torture” and “music curation” by French label Kitsuné. (Click here for the invite; BuzzFeed has its ‘redacted’ version as well.) It’s since become fodder for plenty of other sites including Jezebel, Salon and New York Magazine.

In response to the criticism, event sponsor Smashbox told Refinery29 that they were not aware of the theme and that they’d asked the magazine to revise the party’s theme was in the works. However, Smashbox later on pulled out from the event, claiming that it was too “tainted,” according to New Yorkas did True Religion Brand Jeans.

A representative of the L.A.-based magazine told BuzzFeed that no harm was meant by the party theme:

In its 15-year history, Flaunt has not shied away from controversy or provocation. We routinely cover topics of social and political contention. At our event, we intend to create an atmosphere of fun, and the spirit and theme were never intended to cause offense or harm. Guantanamo has been controversial from its inception, and that an unresolved human rights issue is again fetching headlines is, in our opinion, true to our aims as a publication. We value and respect the public’s concern and are taking action.

The party’s new theme is “Nightshift”, according to the Los Angeles news site Laist.

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