TikTok CEO is honorary chair of Met Gala

TikTok CEO Shou Chew, who has been put under the spotlight by American lawmakers, is one of the honorary chairs of Monday’s Met Gala.

In addition to Chew serving as honorary chair of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Costume Institute Benefit, TikTok is also a sponsor of the event.

The Met said the benefit and museum exhibition are “made possible by TikTok,” in a February press release.

TikTok and Chew’s roles at the Meta Gala come as the popular social media app is battling to stay active in the U.S. after President Biden signed a bipartisan bill that would force TikTok’s Chinese-based parent company ByteDance to sell the app or face a ban in the U.S.

Lawmakers in support of the bill said it aims to protect the U.S. from national security threats posed by TikTok’s connections to the Chinese parent company, but TikTok has pushed back on allegations that it poses such threats.

The company pledged to fight the law in court, as it has with past attempts, and said it infringes on users’ free speech rights.

That is among several regulatory battles TikTok is facing. Chew was also grilled by senators at a hearing earlier this year about kids’ safety online, along with the CEOs of Meta, Discord, Snap and X. The company is also under investigation by European Union regulators.

Along with Chew, Jonathan Anderson, creative director of LOEWE, will also serve as an honorary Met Gala chair.

This year’s dress code for the benefit is “The Garden of Time,” in honor of the exhibit’s theme, “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.”

The exhibit will use technology, including artificial intelligence and computer-generated imagery, as well as conservation analysis to “reactivate the sensory capacities of masterworks in the Museum’s collection,” according to the Met’s release. The display will include 250 objects spanning four centuries.

The celebrity co-chairs for the benefit are Bad Bunny, Chris Hemsworth, Jennifer Lopez, Anna Wintour and Zendaya.

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