An online petition to effectively remove fashion photographer and infamous sleaze bucket Terry Richardson from the fashion industry has gained over 2500 signatures in its first few days. The petition calls on brands including Vogue, H&M, Tom Ford and Mango to stop using Richardson, the world’s highest paid fashion photographer, until the numerous allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation are investigated.
Richardson, known for his overtly sexual imagery, has been accused multiple times of sexual exploitation of young models. In March 2010 Richardson was accused by Danish model and filmmaker Rie Rasmussen of sexual exploitation. She was upset at Richardson’s use of her picture in his ‘Terryworld’ book alongside shots of half-naked young girls depicted as performing sex acts. Rasmussen commented, “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.” Model Jamie Peck has also spoken out stating, “Of all the fine folks I’ve frolicked au naturel for, he’s the only one who’s left me feeling like I needed to take two showers.” Jenna Sauers, a model and co-founder of The Model Alliance, has also stated that she has heard several complaints about the photographer’s behaviour, “I have heard from a lot of models that he has worked with that all say his M.O. is the same. You suddenly get naked and then he touches you and he goes further and further. But you’re surrounded by his assistants and they are validating his actions.”
In addition to the allegations of sexual abuse, Richardson’s photography is offensive and degrading, often verging on pornographic. One notable photograph featured a woman in a trash can giving Richardson a sexual favour as if to suggest she is ‘garbage’. Another featured models who are tied up and crammed into suitcases.
Why the fashion industry continues to use the photographer is baffling and it’s time it stopped. Richardson is the Jimmy Saville of the fashion industry and we all need to take a stand. Sign the petition and stop the sexual abuse!
Image via Change.org