Tag Archives: Terry Richardson
Just as the Terry Richardson scandal subsides I bring you the making of the 2010 Pirelli calendar (via unscathed). In which Richardson is barely portrayed as a “crazy” risqué photographer, but not a creep. Here, Richardson is working in the presence of multiple assistants and agents and camera lenses. In the privacy of his intimate studio, he’d be liberated enough to be “weirder” and, according to accusations, insensitive
On the attack, it seems most want you to believe Richardson is the slimiest of men. Nameless insiders with quotes to give out and anonymous models with stories to tell have since come forward. Gavin McInnes satirizes. Jezebel: ”One fashion insider says agencies ‘know full well Richardson’s predatory behavior,’ but that he ‘is tolerated because the industry folk are just sheep.’” Legally speaking, there’s only anecdotal evidence of Richardson the predator. Yet Jenna Sauers (of Jezebel) titled a post “To Catch a Predator: What are Agencies Doing to Keep Models Safe” in continuation of her pedophile allusions (“Uncle Terry” with his “pedo-stache”).
Calling Terry out on not photographing black models, an attack you can fling at any photographer, is another nonsense blow. The scarcity of black models (and other minorities) is a social issue too complex for Jezebel to address while defaming Terry.
I approached [Terry] and asked him if he had any moral quandaries about exploiting the sad dreams of models who hadn’t yet made it and probably never would. I asked him if he realized that they were enacting what they believed were his expectations and fantasies in order to gain his favor and hence gain a cover or a future booking. “I don’t really think about that stuff,” he told me. “I guess you’re smarter than me.”
That’s America. People (in this case models) will exploit themselves to get ahead. As the artist (or hired photographer), Richardson’s purpose are the photos. The reasoning behind each model’s actions or they’re aspirations isn’t his immediate concern. Models know that it’s a competitive world. It’s their choice if they go the route of the suck-up, in which case the model would have power over Richardson. An exception to Jezebel’s thesis? “Given the power differential that exists between Richardson, who is old, wealthy, regarded as an artist, and vastly influential, and most of his model subjects, can the consent of these women even be said to be freely given?”
It looks to me like Terry Richardson is being used as a scapegoat for critics of a society that admires pretty girls. See, admiration is often misinterpreted as mere objectification. When we admire an aspect of humanity, be it our sexuality, beauty, intelligence, it doesn’t mean we negate the rest of what it means to be human.
Terry Richardson, that weirdo photographer, is getting a lot of hate since being accused of exploiting his models. It began last week with the words of model Rie Rasmussen: “He takes girls who are young, manipulates them to take their clothes off and takes pictures of them they will be ashamed of. They are too afraid to say no because their agency booked them on the job and are too young to stand up for themselves.”
Days later “occasional cheesecake” Jamie Peck shared her story. Peck explains that Richardson is creep who looks like a hipster pedophile and is into menstrual tea: He asked if he could play with her soaked tampon. Then he got naked and with the help of his assistant pressured Peck into giving him a hand job.
Jamie Peck writes, “This man has built his business/pleasure empire on breaking the cardinal rule of asking a young girl you don’t know to come over to your house and hang out naked: don’t be a fucking creep.”
All photographers shooting nudes must be sinners.
Jezebel absolves Peck of her consent, “Given the power differential that exists between Richardson, who is old, wealthy, regarded as an artist, and vastly influential, and most of his model subjects, can the consent of these women even be said to be freely given?” Clayton Cubitt disagrees, ”Can only young models shoot young models? Can Third World subjects not consent to pose for First World journos? Absurdity.”
Others say Richardson’s actions are not shocking. He has always been open about sleeping with his models; his personality is well-known in the industry. In an interview for The New York Observer Richardson said, ”A lot of it starts with me saying to a girl, ‘Do you want to do nudes?’ And they’re like, ‘I don’t want to be naked,’ …. So I say, ’ I’ll be naked and you take the pictures. You can have the camera. You can have the phallus.’ …. And since I’m in so many of the pictures, aren’t I objectifying myself a bit?”
An abashed society makes a character like Terry Richardson improper. We can’t expect him to be “normal”. Why should he be? He’s going to strip at his own photo shoots, ”He’ll photograph his dick and anyone else’s,” and be frank about sex and do obscene things: ”I have hundreds of images of me just coming on different rugs in different hotel rooms.”
Terry Richardson hasn’t responded to the accusations; so it’s a one-sided show right now. If Jamie Peck is being completely sincere and Richard did pressure her, then, yeah, Terry Richardson was being an inconsiderate jerk. Even so, neither party is perfect. We were taught to overcome peer-pressure in middle school.
Rei Rasmussen’s remarks are less convincing. They’re not far from anti-porn rants.
Update: Terry Richardson responds.
Might have to write more on this…
See follow up: Richardson Continued…