Amid the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal and the fallout that’s reached other industries, one of the most powerful magazine publishers in the world has quietly distanced itself from a fashion photographer who, like Weinstein, has been accused of sexual assault and harassment.
In a leaked email, a senior executive at Condé Nast International reportedly wrote, ‘”I am writing to you on an important matter. Condé Nast would like to no longer work with the photographer Terry Richardson.” He added that any current or future work for Richardson should be “killed or substituted with other material.”
Condé Nast International, the publisher behind foreign editions of magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair, and GQ, is not the only company that has decided to blacklist the controversial photographer. Fashion brands like Valentino, Diesel, and Bulgari have also indicated that they will no longer work Richardson. The renewed interest in the photographer’s alleged sexual misconduct seems to be related to a recent Times article that dubbed him the “Harvey Weinstein of the fashion world.”
If you’re not familiar with Terry Richardson and the accusations that have dogged him for the last decade, it’s probably because they never became major headline-makers. As a photographer, Richardson is known for his sexually provocative and sometimes borderline crude photos of both celebrities and unknown models alike.
In 2010, writer Jamie Peck was the first to speak publicly about her disturbing experiences with him. When she was a 19-year-old model, she participated in a photo shoot with him, during which Richardson allegedly got naked, asked to play with her tampon, and demanded she give him a handjob in the presence of his assistants.
More stories of sexual assault and sexual manipulation soon followed. Most notably, Scout Willis, the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, reportedly tweeted in 2012: “Last night Terry Richardson tried to finger me, I didn’t let him, obviously. But I did let him photograph me topless in the bathroom.”
However, despite the accusations that have followed him, Richardson continues to work steadily in the fashion world and has racked up over 1.2 million Instagram fans.
Richardson’s spokesperson released a statement to The Telegraph, saying, “He is an artist who has been known for his sexually explicit work so many of his professional interactions with subjects were sexual and explicit in nature but all of the subjects of his work participated consensually.”
As far as we know, the photographer has never been charged with a crime, and no new accusers have emerged in the wake of the #MeToo awareness campaign. Still, thanks to all of the brave women who have come forward with their stories in recent weeks, it seems the tide is turning. Men like Harvey Weinstein and Terry Richardson will no longer be able to hide their behavior behind a veil of power and money, no matter what industry they work in or how famous they are.