This week, the interwebs exploded with the news of fashion photog Terry Richardson‘s lewd and inappropriate on-set behavior with his models. Unsurprisingly, several other sources have stepped forward now to add their own accounts, and the allegations are none too friendly. The dirty details, after the jump.
One anonymous model recounts a photo shoot that she felt went too far, which started with Richardson directing her to masturbate while he shot. Nervous about it, his assistants tried rationalizing with the girl, telling her, “Do you think all these celebrities would take pictures with him if it was porn?” The situation escalated: “Eventually, he had me go down on him and took pictures of him coming on my face, which I had never done before, and when I went to the bathroom to clean up I could hear him and an assistant joking about it which is when I decided to never tell anyone.”
While it’s completely unfair and insulting that young models in that situation feel they’re obligated to abandon morals and do what they’re told, it does appear as if, well, quite a few of Richardson’s subjects are in fact starf**kers. At one group shoot:
“I would estimate that there were 30 models in total [...] and we were told that all of us would be given an opportunity to shoot a cover try. Being familiar with Mr. Richardson’s … peccadillos, many of the models were eager to please; pleasing in this instance consisted primarily of pulling down pants, pulling up skirts, losing blouses, and a bit of finger sucking thrown in for good measure. It seemed painfully clear to me that the phantom lure of a cover try was sufficient reason for a handful of young women with waning career prospects to humiliate themselves in front of each other while Terry Richardson giggled, panted, said “That’s hot,” and pushed them further.”
To be sure, this is scandalous for Richardson and from all these accounts, he’s likely guilty of sexual harassment. But we have to remind ourselves that this type of behavior is unfortunately not limited to this one person and those he’s worked with. Women feeling pressured to use their sexuality as a tool to get ahead exists in far too many professional domains, so perhaps it’s best to focus our effort less on the sensationalism and more on the general issue at hand? What do you think? [Jezebel]