NY Mag recently asked the question is Terry Richardson an Artist or a Predator? UGHHHHHH. Lets all join together to let out the biggest collective sigh over how OVER Terry Richardson we all are.
*Breathe in* *breathe out*
Now lets unpack this issue.
First thing’s first, we all KNOW he’s the world’s biggest creep, so none of this recent news should surprise any of us. Secondly, this subject is hella triggering so be warned. Also, after this let's all just try to command+A+del him from our lives, because we needn’t fan the flames by giving him even more media coverage.
- Who: New York based photographer who's famous for wearing large plastic black glasses, taking photos of young people against a white wall and for directing music videos for Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus. And he’s a major weirdo creep.
- Claim to fame: did you read that I mentioned Beyoncé? And according to his friends, as was reported in NYmag, he “invented” the selfie…yeah right, we all know Ezra Koenig did that.
- Claim to infamy: Taking “professional” and “artsy” dick pics, allegedly sexually assaulting models, being creepy, saying weird things, and being referred to as “the world’s most fucked up fashion photographer” by our sisters over at Jezebel. He even has a song written about him by DJ Baron Von Luxxury called “Terry Richardson,” where the lyrics claim “she’ll have a few more sedatives / I’ll have whatever comes next / And then I’ll burn the negatives.” Did I mention being creepy?
- What people are doing about it: Starting campaigns so that major retailers like H&M stop working with him, attacking celebrities who hypocritically endorse him.
- Who is defending him: TOOOOOOLS. The types of people who defend Terry Richardson are the type of people who are also defending Woody Allen. I.e., the type of people who don’t believe people when they accuse someone of sexual assault, but instead attempt to be “objective” when actually their actions are working against the victims and directly into the pockets of the sexual fiends themselves.
- Who we should be defending: Victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and anyone who has the courage to report and come out publicly in a situation like this. Additionally we should be personally supporting victims of Richardson’s attacks, such as Jamie Peck, a model and victim of Richardson’s alleged assault, who wrote this poignant piece about how NY Mag is not asking the right question, because being an artist and a pervert aren’t mutually exclusive things.
Jamie Peck digs into the NY Mag article, tearing it apart and explaining how this isn’t the first time the media has treated well known men and like this *cough* Roman Polanski *cough*. Just because we “like them” doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of sick, nasty, and deplorable things, explaining “sexual predators aren’t drooling monsters that hide in caves: they are husbands, fathers, employees, friends and yes, sometimes artists. Why is this so hard for some people to understand?”
Girl, we feel you.
She continues to unpack the article talking about how NY Mag basically misses the boat completely when it comes to dealing with a public figure that’s been accused of such heinous acts - pairing victims testimonies with shitty half assed statements from Richardson, focusing on the subject of his art and not the consent or motive behind it.
“What does this say about the fashion industry as a whole that so many people have let him and other sneakier people get away with this for so long?” Peck asks. We certainly know that in any other industry, a high-powered exec’s career would be absolutely destroyed if word got out that he was asking his clients to grab a hard dick.
By asking the question “Predator or Artist?” we are separating the term “artist” from ethical human, as if an artist is incapable of acting in a sane and respectful professional manner. Self-expression my ass. While by the technical definition he may be an “artist,” he is ALSO a “predator,” no if’s, and’s, or butt’s.
Photos via NY Mag, and The Guardian