02 June 2010

Bloggers Attack Terry Richardson's Latest Shoots

When models Rie Rasmussen and Jamie Peck separately accused fashion photographer Terry Richardson of inappropriate behaviour/sexual harassment of models on shoots, figures from all sides of the fashion industry waded in, either to support the views of the two women OR to defend Terry and his 'cheeky' style.

We were always interested in what the reaction might be to any new photoshoots of Richardson's that were published once the allegations had been made. And several months down the line it seems bloggers are taking exception to Terry’s continued employment in the magazine world in large numbers.

Designer Marc Jacobs and publisher Olivier Zahm (founder of Purple Magazine) were two of the luminaries on his side, but it seems that the online community, with Tavi Gevinson as their figurehead, are not amused.

A couple of weeks ago Tavi wrote in her stylerookie blog  

 "But it's ART! He's an ARTISTE!" OH, my bad! Sorry, I'll just step out of your way and let you continue with your Disturbed Genius/Troubled Artist Technique of sexually harassing people, then! In the name of like, art, and stuff! But I kind of think that morality > art. It doesn't matter if his photographs are good or bad, because this situation has to be looked at as; [an] Older Man Taking Advantage Of Young Girl".

Since then, another blogger, who calls herself Freja Baja (no relation to the supermodel, just a fan)  lays into a Terry Richardson shoot in Paris VOGUE. Although the editorial is fully clothed (and, by Richardson's signature style, even a teeny bit bland) Freja questions whether the photographer should be getting booked at all by such big titles, while the allegations are still unresolved. She asks;

“Why are women like Anna, Carine and DvF still working with him? What message is this sending to other photographers and models? What message is this sending to young teens?” AND

“How can an industry that purports to celebrate the female form and allow women to express their creativity and individuality also allow a man like Terry Richardson to continue working?”

Meanwhile a VOGUE Russia cover shoot with Doutzen Kroes and a beach story with the same model for American Vogue have elicited a flood of comments from readers on Models.com that are strongly anti-Terry. DT says:

"Like Doutzen but not Terry’s photography because it doesn’t seem to progress, it's always the same old same old and I don’t think that has to do with it being his ’signature’ bc others like Miesel, Sorrenti, etc. [who] have progressed over time and still maintained their signature style without every picture looking the same"

While another commenter, Mango says "Terry Richardson always does the same. NOT A FAN"

Even blogger Fake Karl, normally so sanguine and emotionally unruffled, has let it be known to his followers that “Richardson's work is half the problem, because it's inherently misogynist, made by a creep who enjoys taking photographs of women on the toilet. It's an absolute indictment upon the fashion industry that magazines like Vice, Vogue, Purple, etc continue to publish this predator's work.”

To summarize his piece he adds, “In case you didn't read the above because you're illiterate and only read twitter: If you support Terry Richardson, you are anti-women. If you publish his work, you are anti-women. If you think him using his position of power to rape women is chic, you are anti-women. For an industry that makes an awful lot of money from women, it's not exactly a profitable stance, hmm?”

If the internet if the future of publishing, it doesn’t look like Terry has a very bright future.

-Naomi Attwood


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