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What was wrong with the NYMag profile on Terry Richardson?
June 17, 2014 7:23 PM   Subscribe

Pretty much everything, says Jezebel. Or, as Salon puts it, it paints a gentler picture--and makes him look even worse. Here's the NYMag profile in question, which was authored against a backdrop of several complaints about the well-known fashion photographer. Richardson defended himself in March. At least two models Richardson has photographed have sued him; the suits have been settled.

The Naughty Knave of Fashion's Court (SLYNT)
posted by MoonOrb (76 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Is Terry Richardson an Artist or a Predator?"

what the actual fuck

that is a stupid sentence and the person who wrote it should feel stupid and bad.
posted by threeants at 7:27 PM on June 17 [26 favorites]


Richardson knows if he's abusive, the models know if he's abusive. We're getting it all as eighth-hand information. To take a side one way or the other is just plain stupid.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 7:32 PM on June 17


I'm torn between "fuck that guy, why would we reinforce his googleability" and "Maybe this is what will ultimately result in jail and/or ruinous lawsuits".
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 7:35 PM on June 17


No, we have countless interviews from young women who he photographed who explicitly describe how he sexually took advantage of them.
posted by Windigo at 7:37 PM on June 17 [43 favorites]


We're getting it all as eighth-hand information.

...Also known as "reporting".
posted by threeants at 7:37 PM on June 17 [16 favorites]


This is a classic "he said, she and she and she and she and she and she and she and she and she and also she all said" situation.
posted by edheil at 7:39 PM on June 17 [172 favorites]


"YNT"?

You No Touchy?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:39 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Richardson knows if he's abusive, the models know if he's abusive. We're getting it all as eighth-hand information. To take a side one way or the other is just plain stupid.

Could this not be said of every instance of abuse that you're not personally party to?
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:41 PM on June 17 [11 favorites]


To take a side one way or the other is just plain stupid.

My side is with the numerous models who have personally spoken out against him and painted pretty clear scenarios of sexual abuse encouraged and covered up by the industry he is in. I'm not sure why believing what the victims said is "stupid" rather than "the right thing to do when a woman tells the world she was sexually abused." Never mind numerous women.
posted by griphus at 7:41 PM on June 17 [47 favorites]


....so I'm not really sure how that's 'eight-hand' information. I guess it's stupid to take these womens' experiences at face value. Hell, Richardson himself talks about a shoot where he says everyone was having sex at the end if it, and how it made at least one woman leave.

What more do you need?
posted by Windigo at 7:41 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I've been trying to broaden my horizons lately (via Feedly) and that NYMag piece this weekend was one of several among that effort. I'd never heard of Richardson before (see first clause of previous sentence), and so I'm not qualified to have an opinion about him, but Jiminy Christmas, I had no idea the kind of behavior described was stuff actual people did (also see first clause of previous sentence).
posted by notyou at 7:43 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


women operate at a baseline of +7 hands
posted by threeants at 7:43 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Creepy guy is creepy.
posted by Fizz at 7:53 PM on June 17


How the fuck does this guy keep getting to do shoots? I admit to not being savvy but I don't get why there are people covering him
posted by Carillon at 7:53 PM on June 17


I guess I don't "get" enough about fashion photography to understand what about this guy's work is so great that makes it worth tolerating this bullshit. Is it just the name cache or is there objective unique value in what he's doing? I suppose I can see his style & POV in his work, but is he really the only guy out there?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:53 PM on June 17


How the fuck does this guy keep getting to do shoots?

Nepotism, at least partially. His father was Bob Richardson, a fashion photographer who had a similar style.

Models have been saying that Terry Richardson is abusive for years, and I'm glad things are finally starting to bubble over into the mainstream.
posted by supermassive at 8:04 PM on June 17 [5 favorites]


I understand why we don't have lynch mobs.
I understand why we have procedure in criminal law.
I understand why those who are accused of crimes deserve fair representation.
I understand why we shouldn't have judges who automatically take away liberties.
I understand why the onus is on the prosecutor to prove criminal acts attributed to a person "beyond a reasonable doubt".


But dude. That fucking moustache. That is ALL the proof I need.
Throw that mofo in prison and toss the keys.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:05 PM on June 17 [6 favorites]


How the fuck does this guy keep getting to do shoots? I admit to not being savvy but I don't get why there are people covering him

Because starlets wanna be famouser.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:06 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Today, in the Guardian, a response to the article from one of the models he abused: "In more than 7,000 words, the false dichotomy of the headline is never directly addressed – despite all the words the article spends illuminating Richardson's glamorous-but-messed-up childhood, his nepotistic career arc and what various people think of his "provocative" work. Call me crazy, but allegations of sexual harassment and abuse are a little more important than what type of sandwich Uncle Terry likes to eat in the morning."
posted by jokeefe at 8:07 PM on June 17 [8 favorites]


I found his style legitimately shocking when I was a teenager and he certainly helped shape my aesthetic sensibilities. For a long time, I shrugged off criticisms of him as essentially prudish. But the more I read accounts from women who have been photographed by him the more fuck that guy.
posted by 256 at 8:07 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Tom Scocca came to a different conclusion
posted by 99_ at 8:09 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Because starlets wanna be famouser.

No. Because he has friends who protect him and continue to hire him.
posted by jokeefe at 8:10 PM on June 17 [25 favorites]


Because starlets wanna be famouser.

I'm pretty sure "starlets" are not the ones giving this guy money to do the stuff he does.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:18 PM on June 17 [5 favorites]


How the fuck does this guy keep getting to do shoots?

It's an insular world. Once you're in, you're in. Partly that's because so many of the residents are living in their own glass houses in one form or another, so they don't throw a lot of stones. As well, models are a lower caste in fashion. Their complaints are less worthy, and offenses against them are less offensive.

Models have been saying that Terry Richardson is abusive for years

Yeah, this isn't a new headline. I have no personal knowledge, I've never met the guy, etc, but it's one of those things that has gone around for awhile. I don't think I ever saw it presented as a rumor even, just something that was known. I'm not a sci-fi person but I've read that Isaac Asimov and Randall Garrett had similar "everybody knows" reputations.
posted by cribcage at 8:19 PM on June 17 [3 favorites]


Agent: "Terry, sweetie, here's my newest, barely out of her babyfat, but lovey, her look is everywhere. You know it, I know it, look at the sweet thing, she has no clue. Also, Torgo, you remember Torgo, Terry? Of course you do. If he looks up from that camera more than seventeen seconds, pull a limb off, Torgo dear."
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:20 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


But dude. That fucking moustache. That is ALL the proof I need.

posted by hal_c_on at 11:05 PM on June 17



Hand to God, I saw that cover and thought it was R. Crumb.
posted by magstheaxe at 8:21 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I'm not a sci-fi person but I've read that Isaac Asimov and Randall Garrett had similar "everybody knows" reputations.

I'm willing to be corrected, but I think that equating Asimov with Richardson is doing the former a pretty big disservice. I've read basically all the Asimov biography there is, and unless (possible!) I dramatically misunderstand the meaning of "making a pass" at a girl, I think Asimov is largely guilty of being overly flirtatious (which can also be unwelcome, of course).
posted by 256 at 8:24 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


In the article, the paragraph that stood out to me the most was this:

But he seems either unaware of or unwilling to acknowledge the ways in which coercion can be unspoken and situational. A prominent photography agent identifies the potential for abuse. “Kate Moss wasn’t asked to grab a hard dick,” this person says. “Miley Cyrus wasn’t asked to grab a hard dick. H&M models weren’t asked to grab a hard dick. But these other girls, the 19-year-old girl from Whereverville, should be the one to say, ‘I don’t think this is a good idea’? These girls are told by agents how important he is, and then they show up and it’s a bait and switch. This guy and his friends are literally like, ‘Grab my boner.’ Is this girl going to say no? And go back to the village? That’s not a real choice. It’s a false choice.”

That's pure predator.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:24 PM on June 17 [33 favorites]


I'm not sure whom I find more abhorrent, Terry Richardson or Leslie Lessin.
posted by Auden at 8:30 PM on June 17


How the fuck does this guy keep getting to do shoots?

Just a few posts down is an fpp about Marion Zimmer Bradley's knowledge of her husband's many child abuse victims, and her own acts of child abuse. Many, many people apparently knew about Breen's abuse for decades (he was even convicted in court!) and yet they both remained part of the scene.

People made excuses for them and looked the other way. That is how Richardson keeps getting work; people make excuses and look the other way. People decided that Breen and MZB were more important than the children they abused; people decide that Richardson is more important than the models he has abused. He'll keep doing it until people decide he's not - or that the cost is too high.

It's gross.
posted by rtha at 8:32 PM on June 17 [10 favorites]


I mean, as blatantly fucked as it is, "Artist or Predator?" seems to be a dichotomy widely accepted as valid. It's working for Woody Allen and Roman Polanski, anyhow. What I genuinely can't figure out, though, is if people are thinking that artistry justifies rape or precludes it. (And I'm not sure which is worse.)
posted by threeants at 8:33 PM on June 17 [6 favorites]


Yeah, this isn't a new headline.

No, it's not. But it's not like most models have any sort of power, so the most that would usually happen is passing things along as rumor and hearsay, because people would rather protect Richardson than protect a model, particularly if she's just started her career and isn't well known.
posted by supermassive at 8:38 PM on June 17


But dude. That fucking moustache. That is ALL the proof I need.

Which reminds me: In a whole thread of good burns on Terry Richardson, this one stands out.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:42 PM on June 17 [8 favorites]


What I genuinely can't figure out, though, is if people are thinking that artistry justifies rape or precludes it.

It's closer to the former, but honestly, I think you've got the mechanism backward. The mindset isn't a result of someone sitting down and intentionally seeking justification or denial. It's a result of the one-dimensional caricatures to which we reduce these "predators," "monsters," etc. By habit, when we look at the person, we see nothing but the act; that becomes our definition of them. We subscribe to that on a societal level. Except then it turns out this person or that one did a bunch of other things that society found substantive value in, and now we're in a pickle of trying to untangle our definition of him or her. Who were they? That's how people get there.
posted by cribcage at 9:02 PM on June 17 [3 favorites]


At one point, Wallace notes that there are now many "culturally engaged people, many of them young, who reject the sophisticated titillation that once greeted Richardson's work, seeing predation instead of transgression."

I love sophistry and loopholes. Make people who object to abuse seem like a bunch of unenlightened rubes.

And really, wow. Most people who do that sort of thing get carted off to prison, but bring a camera along and it is sophisticated "art."

I may have hung around school halls because I wasn't allowed to hang out on street corners, but I am not that naive.

It is all the twisted logic of the gutter -- those pictures are evidence of a hate crime, as well as a profound lack of talent...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 9:08 PM on June 17 [3 favorites]


"friendly muttonchops"

I don't think we're both looking at the same (creepy) guy.
posted by weeyin at 9:15 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


"Is Terry Richardson an Artist or a Predator?"

Not mutually exclusive. Perfectly feasible to be both.
posted by wabbittwax at 10:00 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure "starlets" are not the ones giving this guy money to do the stuff he does


Yes. But they have to consent to being photographed by him. And why would they do that?
posted by hal_c_on at 10:09 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Ambition. Pressure from agents. Desire to do well. Thrall. Kool-Aid.
posted by wabbittwax at 10:11 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Yes. But they have to consent to being photographed by him. And why would they do that?


Because before all these allegations came out, all models had was the whisper network to protect them, and newcomers aren't part of the whisper network. And even if you've heard whispers, you know that you don't get famous by turning down work, and if you get a reputation for being "difficult" on set while you're still new, you're ruining your career. And so you gulp and roll the dice, because after all, if he was THAT bad, surely someone would have raised a stink by now?
posted by KathrynT at 10:14 PM on June 17 [25 favorites]


Because before all these allegations came out...

Perhaps you aren't familiar with Richardson. Do you know when his first allegations came out? I don't, but I know the mofo had allegations publicized OVER FOUR YEARS AGO!

So don't misrepresent the situation by saying that all of these allegations JUST came out.

People did raise a stink a LONG time ago...but it didn't stop Kate Upton from cat-caddying it up, or miley from doing whatever the f she does to hustle people for money, and even lady gaga (2011). And honestly, until this dude goes to jail or something, it won't stop people from WANTING him to be their photographer.

This dude is a known pervert...for YEARS. The whisper network doesn't prevent anybody from googling THIS dude.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:49 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


That the guy is a known skeeze still doesn't make his predation the model's fault. Even (especially) people who get naked for the camera deserve a workplace free of sexual harassment.
posted by Space Kitty at 10:56 PM on June 17 [19 favorites]


Have I missed a similar conversation about Larry Clark? I do think it's odd that Richardson's work, which seems to me more gleefully juvenile, seems more the target of criticism, when if I was to judge from a distance (which we all are) the motivation doesn't seem that distinct.

(it is matters, which is seems to in these situations, I think both are pretty dismal)
posted by 99_ at 10:59 PM on June 17


"Sexual predator*" as a term for Richardson seems too forgiving. "Predator" to me implies that like a large carnivorous animal one should know better than to get too close, but also that it is essential to their nature. Terry Richardson is not a polar bear, he's an adult human. He doesn't eat other beings to live, he abuses young, naive people who have been told they need to sacrifice to succeed because he can. The fashion world seems very toxic.


*I know this is shorthand for many things, from violent rapists to people who abuse power dynamics and everywhere in-between, but in this case the term seems to set a limit on what he can be called out on. I want to live in a society that chooses to sequester and treat people like Terry after due process and I encourage a society that shuns and rejects industries that protect people that do the things he is accused of, knowing full well that incarceration and treatment can't stop some people. I don't know what to do about that, I do know if a bear corners me then someones gonna get got.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:27 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I just read my comment over and the last sentence seems way too internet macho. What I meant was that the protocol for a dangerous animal predator (bearing in mind that we, as humans, are the apex predators by a long-shot) should be vastly different than the protocol for a human serial sex criminal, as comforting to our worldview as it would be to just destroy such an individual.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:49 PM on June 17


I once got a Terry Richardson photo book for my birthday. Whenever my six old didn't want to finish his vegetables, I held up his Terry's picture. "So, you want to end up like this guy?" Grudgingly Brussels sprouts were shoveled. Boy, am I gonna have field day. I think I'm having Brussels Sprouts for dinner! Dad was right for a change!!
posted by ouke at 12:02 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


hal_c_on: "They have to consent to being photographed by him. And why would they do that?"

In at least two cases (one of which was a male model, not a starlet), they signed what they were told was a sign-in sheet that was actually a release form - they thought they were doing test shoots and casting shots. Shades of Joe Francis.

Not every non-English-speaking kid new to the Big Apple knows that they should be googling their photogs and art directors. And Terry Richardson and his crew have spent a fair amount of time and energy putting it out there that he's just transgressive, and that only a stodgy coward who doesn't understand Art would skip the incredible opportunity to be shot by him. Half that NYMag piece was making sure those voices were also heard.
posted by gingerest at 1:01 AM on June 18 [6 favorites]


In other words, it's because he's not merely a pervert, he and his associates are also actively lying about his proclivities to procure him new victims. Because he's a predator.
posted by gingerest at 1:03 AM on June 18


"Have I missed a similar conversation about Larry Clark? "

As far as I know, Clark's only borderline exploitative, not asking to get his cock sucked as part of the shoot.
posted by klangklangston at 1:05 AM on June 18


The 'Everybody Knows' reputation is what Jimmy Savile had in the UK for over half a century throughout the entertainment business, during which time he was the UK's most prolific sex offender of all time, with at least 450 victims.
posted by colie at 2:02 AM on June 18 [14 favorites]


You know what i hate most about these situations, and honestly who i hate most? the enablers. Especially the enabling spouses or partners or whatever like Leslie Lessin in this case. Maybe it's just stuff i've seen go down around me in my own life, but basically every male abuser or rapist or whatever i've known of or met has had a "beard" in that sense; a woman who not only assists in drawing in and procuring victims, but gives them the air of legitimacy of basically being there to radiate the gist of "look, i'm here with him and i think he's ok and i'm a lady, do you think i'd stick around if he did anything like what those other people are implying or saying he did/that the creeper vibes he's giving off make you feel like he will?".

Because a lot of times, it seems like they're only there to put the future victim at ease. How brainwashed are these people? What are they thinking? How do they get spiraled so deep into this that they're ok with basically being the lure on one of those giant deep sea fish?

I mean i know, from experience, that these types of guys are generally master manipulators and socially adept, but i can't help but put those "assistants" anywhere but on some level of hell below "just following orders".

Because it's one thing to be a predator. It's something entirely different to sit beside one and wipe the blood off their jowls when they've just finished goring another fawn.
posted by emptythought at 3:36 AM on June 18 [10 favorites]


Yes. But they have to consent to being photographed by him. And why would they do that?


It's how they eat, it's their job. They are young people in a fiercely competitive career with a ten year arc if they are lucky. Their agents send them to photographers and assignments, they don't choose them. And yes, they "consent" in the sense of not walking out and by signing releases. But how free a choice is it to "consent" to the abuse of a world famous photographer when a refusal could very well cost you your entire career and "consenting" can get you ahead?

Textbook sexual harassment scenario, slam dunk lawsuit territory (why he has paid settlements -- he'd lose in court).

Richardson has coercive power that makes "consent" almost irrelevant. The point ("but they consented") is a classic way such abuse is excused.
posted by spitbull at 3:38 AM on June 18 [28 favorites]


Richardson has coercive power that makes "consent" almost irrelevant.

Very true, because he is currently just about the top photographer in the entire industry... the people who could really change things are the mega-celebs like Miley and Lindsay and so, so many others who keep working with him (while never being asked to grab a cock). They actually have a clear responsibility here.
posted by colie at 3:46 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


Most people who do that sort of thing get carted off to prison

Man, if only.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:24 AM on June 18 [10 favorites]


But he can also seem equal parts naïve and stubborn. Until last February, the solicitation for nude models on his website consisted of the word casting and a photo of a hotel-room door marked “69.”

This encapsulates for me the utter dumbness of whoever wrote this whitewash of one of the creepiest people it's ever been my displeasure to read about. There is absolutely nothing that is naive about that description of that website, nothing.

(Though I am going to imitate his assistant and start using 'shamanic cleansing' as an excuse not to shake hands in high flu season.)
posted by lesbiassparrow at 5:08 AM on June 18


Another article on the issue - Terry Richardson is a predatory artist, which I don't think is linked above.
posted by typecloud at 5:11 AM on June 18


Let's be honest here. There are only a few ways a man gets into fashion photography. By accident, as they find they have a knack for it, or because they are somewhere on the creepy scale.

The latter hone their craft early, and continue to expertly interact with women younger and younger than them throughout their careers. They stay just this side, sort of, of all out serial assault and get lauded for it.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:40 AM on June 18


Knowing what everyone knows about Terry Richardson, anyone who hires him for a fashion shoot with young, unknown models or sends young, unknown models to shoots with him is complicit in abusing these girls.

Miley and Lilo and Neil Patrick Harris can take care of themselves, but doing the kinds of shoots Terry Richardson does with unknowns is just beyond the pale. They can all claim it's good fun as much as they want, but nobody should be enabling that stuff.
posted by maggiemaggie at 7:41 AM on June 18 [3 favorites]


To me what is shocking is that someone prestigious like our president has been photographed by Terry Richardson.
posted by goneill at 8:34 AM on June 18


It's not until you get to super{star|model} status that you get the ability to say no.

Not saying no is what helps you get to the super status, as opposed to torpedoing your career.

Every single person, especially Terry himself, who knew or even heard whispers about this and yet kept sending him young, desperate, impossible-for-them-to-say-no-unless-they-want-to-lose-their-dream women should be drummed out of the industry and shunned forever.

(Also I am inescapably reminded of the scene in Gia. "Keep the fence. Lose the clothes." Though that was presented as a photographer taking really interesting photos; the exploitation was on the part of the movie makers by insisting on the full nudity and the gratuitous lesbian smooching and such.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:36 AM on June 18


Not defending him, but the guy basically got famous by blurring the line between porn and fashion. That's WHY he's famous. Obviously there is a fucked up power dynamic at play here, but the entire fashion industry is sick from top to bottom. Exploitation is profitable.
posted by mike_bling at 8:39 AM on June 18


the guy basically got famous by blurring the line between porn and fashion.

That's fine and cool and pushes art forward and pushes fashion photography forward and all those are good things.

The important thing, though, is that it's possible to do that without sexually assaulting your models.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:48 AM on June 18 [16 favorites]


The important thing, though, is that it's possible to do that without sexually assaulting your models.

Exactly. There are many photographers, even famous photographers, who are blurring the line between porn and fashion without sexually assaulting their models. There are some examples of a Richard Kern photoshoot presented as a contrast to Richardson's photoshoots in this interview of a former model who was assaulted by Richardson. Warning - that interview is pretty graphic.

Predators like Richardson are expert manipulators. It's not surprising that his reputation is untarnished by the voluminous, repetitive allegations but it is incredibly disappointing.
posted by muddgirl at 9:28 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch: Richardson knows if he's abusive,
Wrong. Predators sometimes rationalize their actions as their rights.

the models know if he's abusive.
Correct.

We're getting it all as eighth-hand information.
Wrong. Second-hand, as close or closer than most of the best information in your lifetime. Ever see a rocket launch? A volcano explode? A baby born?

To take a side one way or the other is just plain stupid.
To not take a side when someone is being abused is just plain immoral.

One out of four. You're not doing well.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:34 AM on June 18 [5 favorites]


MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch: "Richardson knows if he's abusive, the models know if he's abusive. We're getting it all as eighth-hand information. To take a side one way or the other is just plain stupid."

I believe the women. I'm okay with being a moron on this one.
posted by scrump at 10:59 AM on June 18 [5 favorites]


You know, it's always a bit puzzling to me how multiple personal reports can be dismissed as "eighth-hand information." Isn't a report from someone who was a party to the assault FIRST hand information?
posted by KathrynT at 11:02 AM on June 18 [9 favorites]


Well, yeah, but they're mediated by outlets — they are secondary sources because you have to assume they've been edited, etc.

But that's kind of a silly derail. Richardson is beyond the point where he gets any real benefit of the doubt. Which is kind of a shame, because some of his work is really strong (even the graphic stuff, like the nun shot).

Muddgirl's right though, you can take shots like these and not be a predatory scumbag — I've never worked directly with Richard Kern, but I've corresponded with him as part of a previous job and talked to a lot of women who modeled for him. He's never made any of them uncomfortable. I mean, his sexuality is a bit different from Richardson's — Kern's much more of a masochist and self-flagellant, something that was really clear in his No Wave cinema days. He feels guilty about being fucked up; Richardson feels gleeful.

But I've also worked with Dave Naz, who is really heavily influenced by Kern with a bit of glossier approach, and he's fantastic and professional all the way through. I mean, I think it's kinda weird to film your wife getting choked out in a double-anal scene, but it seems to work for them, and I've never heard any stories of abuse about Naz.

(On the other hand, when I met Audrey Hollander and Otto Bauer, I was under the impression that they had a healthy relationship, but apparently there's a documentary that makes it seem like Audrey was pretty deeply unhappy about the whole thing.)
posted by klangklangston at 11:27 AM on June 18 [5 favorites]


Not defending him, but the guy basically got famous by blurring the line between porn and fashion. That's WHY he's famous.
Jamie Peck points out that it's standard procedure in porn to discuss before the shoot in really specific terms what the model is and isn't comfortable doing, precisely to avoid a situation where models or performers feel pressured in the moment to do stuff they don't want to do. He can blur the line between art and porn and still pay attention to practices that have been created, sometimes by people in porn, to ensure real consent.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:26 PM on June 18 [9 favorites]


Yeah, the place I worked was known as being semi-unreasonable sticklers about that sort of thing, so I don't know how broadly this is practiced, but our contracts and releases were incredibly specific. And I know that was at least in part because we resold our content to PPV providers, and they have insanely detailed contracts about what can be shown and how much. (Like, "Two acts of vaginal intercourse totaling 4:22 of screen time.")
posted by klangklangston at 2:14 PM on June 18


I was going to just comment 'Christ, what an asshole' because it's accurate, but it's too jokey. What a vile person, surrounded by people who allow him to be vile, and people who are too exploited to defend themselves, and there's a lot of crossover on the last 2.
posted by theora55 at 3:24 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Speaking of serial sexual harassers who blur the line between porn and fashion, Dov Charney was fired from American Apparel.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 5:31 AM on June 19 [4 favorites]


Found this on a celebrity nudity blog that specializes in nipslips, lipslips, and upskirts:

Editor's Note: Let's get this out of the way. Many of you have written about posting Terry Richardson content on this site. Outside of being a creepy, kinky, fetish, drug-plagued monkey with raging hormones, which I think is a given, Terry's not ever been legally charged in any allegations. Maybe he will be someday, and my opinion of him will more from awkward and creepy alternative lifestyle photographer to predator who needs to be locked up forever. But, for now, the girls he shoots featured on this site all support him and say he's a helluva guy. He wouldn't be the first man to have both real female supporters and also a small number of real female victims. But that completely remains to be seen. In businesses such as photographing young models, there are bad things that go on, and accusations of bad things that are entirely false. I'm always cautious about trying cases in the media.

When you're in danger of losing the moral support of the pornographers...
posted by ColdChef at 8:08 AM on June 23




Empty thought, I have lots of respect for you generally...but did you just place the blame on women for his, and other sex offenders behaviour???


Maybe I misunderstood what you meant. But this reads pretty badly to me:

"You know what i hate most about these situations, and honestly who i hate most? the enablers. Especially the enabling spouses or partners or whatever like Leslie Lessin in this case. Maybe it's just stuff i've seen go down around me in my own life, but basically every male abuser or rapist or whatever i've known of or met has had a "beard" in that sense; a woman who not only assists in drawing in and procuring victims, but gives them the air of legitimacy of basically being there to radiate the gist of "look, i'm here with him and i think he's ok and i'm a lady, do you think i'd stick around if he did anything like what those other people are implying or saying he did/that the creeper vibes he's giving off make you feel like he will?".

Because a lot of times, it seems like they're only there to put the future victim at ease. How brainwashed are these people? What are they thinking? How do they get spiraled so deep into this that they're ok with basically being the lure on one of those giant deep sea fish?

I mean i know, from experience, that these types of guys are generally master manipulators and socially adept, but i can't help but put those "assistants" anywhere but on some level of hell below "just following orders".

Because it's one thing to be a predator. It's something entirely different to sit beside one and wipe the blood off their jowls when they've just finished goring another fawn."
posted by taff at 3:36 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


I think I understand what emptythought was getting at, there, and it definitely places blame on *certain* women for male sex offenses. I sympathize, because 1. we're really talking about accomplices to the crime, here, and accomplices who, we assume, go relatively unpunished (although the assumption may be wrong) and 2. it is an emotional universal that we feel most wounded when betrayal comes from our own, people we expected we could trust. Misguidedly, we expect any woman, whom we assume (although the assumption may be wrong) to be susceptible to victimization by a male sexual predator, to help other women resist such predation, rather than to provide succor to the predator. We think we should be able to trust women, but we can't trust women, because they're not a monolith. Women can not only be accomplices to male sexual predators, they can be sexual predators in their own rights.
Do I think it's especially fair to blame female accomplices more than male predators? No, but I sympathize with the heightened outrage that comes from expecting women, as a rule, to be more trustworthy in the arena of sexual violence than men, and from (inevitably) having that expectation crushed. Female solidarity isn't real, though.
posted by gingerest at 7:56 PM on June 23


Grantland: No Country for Old Pervs: The Fall of the Houses of Terry Richardson and Dov Charney
Whatever your opinion is of Richardson’s brightly exposed white-wall portraits, sometimes explicit personal work, and provocative fashion photography should be irrelevant to the question of whether he should continue to be hired. If Richardson touches and molests models without their consent, as multiple accounts accounts in specific, extremely similar detail allege, there’s no excuse for his ongoing high status in the photography world. Richardson never flat-out denies the allegations in the profile, but he evades taking responsibility and shrugs off any collateral damage. It’s all just part and parcel of the artistic process for Uncle Terry, apparently! He claims ignorance about the sexual politics of his photography and accompanying feminist backlash, but also cannily made a beeline at a birthday party to take an already infamous picture with Gloria Steinem. The profile mostly contains old information, other than Richardson’s taste-damning admission that he loves the Seth MacFarlane movie Ted.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:48 AM on June 29


Empty thought, I have lots of respect for you generally...but did you just place the blame on women for his, and other sex offenders behaviour???

I placed some blame on them, yes. Not "The blame".

I may be a bit personally invested in this topic, which is why i took a break before even replying to this direct call out of my statement, but i've had my life cross paths with several men like this.

Two of them, that stand out vividly in my mind were supported by women working closely with them either as romantic partners or otherwise who were actively complicit in their abuses and assaults. A babysitter/nanny who brought the children in her charge back to their shared house and left them alone with him, knowing full well what would happen. For years. A mother and her children who lived with the man, and openly encouraged and assisted him in inviting children over to play with his giant trainset and general mini neverland ranch setup of awesome things a young boy would want to play with. That kind of stuff.

The situation here struck the same nerve for me. I wasn't saying that the person who loaded and reloaded the gun, passing it back to the serial killer was bearing the same responsibility here, but is saying they bear any taboo because i'm "blaming women"?

Gingerest said it fairly well, but i felt compelled to reply.

And to be clear, this doesn't come at least in the majority from some misplaced pollyannaish concept of solidarity among women, but more that in some bizarre patriarchal sense that they are invisible accomplices. They both lend credibility to the abusers as i was saying, but are regularly seen as innocent bystanders or having acceptable plausible deniability when they later state "i had no idea :O" when that is plainly not true. And that last part happens nearly every time.

I wasn't as much blaming them more, as being more outraged and shocked by it. Part of that is how fucking many male predators i've seen in my life(and i've met a couple of women too, but it's a supermajority of men). I'm sort of jaded to that, it's like seeing a mild car wreck on the road in the morning. These situations though, get waved off as either not what's happening or more unusual than they likely are.

I don't know, hope that makes some sense, and i hope it clears up any of the shock you seemed to have at me presumably holding what you understandably saw as an outrageous position.
posted by emptythought at 2:36 PM on July 1


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