In today’s disappointing news, Lupita Nyong’o and Jared Leto apparently socialized with alleged sexual predator Terry Richardson and ended up as guest stars on his blog of bad photography. Richardson poses with the pair in a couple of photos and documents goofs like Nyong’o trying on Richardson’s glasses and everyone forgetting about the inconvenient sexual abuse allegations. It looks like it was a lot of fun.
It’s pretty upsetting to see any celebrities cut Richardson a break or hire him for any reason (I came down pretty hard on Beyoncé when she hired him to direct her video for XO), but they do, over and over. For some reason, either Richardson poses some sort of boon to their careers that apparently outweighs sexual predation, or people just don’t care about things like sexual assault when they could hang out with Fun Guy Terry.
Terry Richardson is a bad guy. Not a bad guy like a cartoon villain or even a kind-hearted but complicated street thief who will one day be a benevolent king, I mean a bad fucking guy. According to numerous, unconnected women, Terry Richardson took advantage of his position to assault women time and time again (including one of our very own writers, who detailed her experience here), and yet celebrities inexplicably continue to brush his behavior under the rug. It’s not so much that Richardson is a free-pass guy, people don’t forget about his assaults (or at least, outlets like us keep writing about it). But I think his behavior is somewhat condoned as part of his personality, as if it makes him a more interesting artist instead of a hack who gets off on objectifying women and taking boring pictures.
There’s no grey area here. From the way I see it, there’s no argument that Richardson is a reformed man, or that he was falsely accused. There are simply too many stories that keep coming out from people who stand nothing to gain from going public. Richardson is an accused serial abuser, and hanging out with him to add some indie cred to your career is tacit approval of his behavior. Just make a movie for IFC. There are other ways to seem cool. Or, publicly condemn his behavior instead of pretending that it’ll all go away if you look the other direction. That’s another option.
Photos: Terry Richardson