Terry Richardson is one of the most prolific and sought-after photographers in the world. He’s worked for dozens of major publications and brands, from H&M to Vanity Fair. As a result, he has photographed the most famous people in the world – including Madonna, Kate Moss and even President Barack Obama.
All this, despite the fact that numerous young women have consistently and publicly accused him of being a sexual predator.
This week, yet another model came forward with allegations that Richardson sexually harassed and assaulted her during a photo shoot. She shares that, at 19, she felt “nervous and paralyzed” while he asked her to perform increasingly demeaning sexual acts in front of the camera. Not only has the man popularized a distinct form of objectification in photography – blurring the lines between pornography and fashion – but Richardson has repeatedly been accused of taking advantage of young women who see working with him as a path to success in the modeling industry.
In fact, Richardson’s treatment of models is well below the standards of the porn industry that he seems to mimic – where it is common practice for performers to at least have contracts with agreed upon guidelines for performance. Instead, this powerful man is using his position to prey upon young women and perpetuate a dangerous and disgusting ideal of heterosexual masculinity.
Yet, even as some celebrities like Lena Dunham have begun publicly regretting working with Richardson, mainstream press and the fashion industry continue to hire him. Just this past month he photographed Lady Gaga for Harper’s Bazaar and Lebron James for GQ. These major brands are tacitly condoning Richardson’s awful treatment of women – and inspiring others to follow in his footsteps – by agreeing to showcase his work.
Please sign the ongoing Change.org petition to encourage companies to pledge to stop working with Terry Richardson. And tweet #NotBuyingIt at irresponsible brands until they get the message.
Terry Richardson’s misogyny is a well-known fact in the fashion industry. It’s time we collectively took a stand against him, and stood up for young women everywhere.
Below are just a few of the brands and publications Terry Richardson has worked with. Click the buttons to send them a #NotBuyingIt tweet.
UPDATE: H&M responds to user tweets: