Terry Richardson Allegations Towards His Behind the Camera Behavior

I've been waiting for both sides of this story to have a chance to make a statement before writing on the controversy surrounding celebrity and fashion photographer Terry Richardson.  His portfolio consists of high profile subjects such as our president Mr. Obama, Britney Spears (for her most recent Candies campaign), the Olsen twins, Pamela Anderson and Lindsay Lohan just to name a few.

Recently Richardson has been the focus of scrutiny for his practices behind the camera while shooting young models, a few models have come forward accusing him of engaging them into crude and sexual acts.   Rie Rasmussen, a supermodel, was one of the first to come forward recently, expressing distaste towards Richardson's practices.  She was upset that he used her image was published in his "Terryworld" book , "alongside shots of half-naked young girls depicted as performing sex acts."

Rie's statements soon became viral accross the net.
"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."

"His 'look' is girls who appear underage, abused, look like heroin addicts . . . I don't understand how anyone works with him."

Rasmussen said: "I told him what you do is completely degrading to women. I hope you know you only [bleep] girls because you have a camera, lots of fashion contacts and get your pictures in Vogue.
"Instead of arguing with me, Terry ran out of the bar. Then the next day, he called my agency and complained I called him names in front of clients in Paris. It was the most cowardly thing I have ever seen."

Soon after Rie's statements, other models came forward revealing experiences during a photoshoot with Richardson, when they were young and were too ashamed to ever bring forward then.  Some of these allegations included models performing oral sex on Richardson or photographing him while he masturbated,to being coaxed into questionable poses for pictures.  Many more crude and disturbing reflections poured into different media outlets after hearing the testimony of other models who experienced the same treatment.

Soon after the extensive backlash on Terry Richardson, he removed many of the provacative and explicit content from his blog and posted the following statement:
"March 20, 2010
I just want to take a moment to say I’m really hurt by the recent and false allegations of insensitivity and misconduct. I feel fortunate to work with so many extraordinary people each and every day. I’ve always been considerate and respectful of the people I photograph and I view what I do as a real collaboration between myself and the people in front of the camera. To everyone who has embraced and supported me and my work, I am so grateful. Thank you, it means a lot.


It is a well know occurrence that young models, actresses, and singers get taken advantage of  consistently by industry professionals, because they just want to make it.  Hell even dirty club promoters get girls to sleep with them, just because they can add names to the guest list, I'm sorry, but I wish some of these girls would realize they're worth a lot more than a $20 cover charge or a bottle of Vodka.

Terry Richardson's "brand" of work boasts an Avant Garde equivalent style that is about being provocative and sexual liberation.  I call bullshit! Madonna entranced us all with her independence and forms of sexual revolution,  Richardson on the other hand is a man with two girls on his jewels while throwing the peace sign.

Taken from his website, if you would like to model "naked" for him, visit room 69, oh how conspicuously clever.

 We have so many issues in the world that go unannounced because we're all so worried about what the douches on Jersey Shore are doing, or what time the Bad Girls Club is on. Just alone in the billion dollar industry of fashion, magazines, stylists and enablers look  past the uncouth acts taking place just to avoid rocking the boat, while guys like Richardson gets his rocks off.

Change happens in slow movements, but it takes the voices of many to speak and the ears of high level authorities to listen.  Kudos to Michael Kors and Anna Wintour starting by choosing not to cast and hire models under 16.

Michael Kors: "I think super-young girls used to be the exception. There’s always been a Twiggy, or a model who is very young. But they were few and far between. Now, they’re completely common. That’s something I see as a huge problem.’’

Anna Wintour: “The models were so frightened of recrimination and that they wouldn’t be booked for shoots or shows that they didn’t want to talk about what everybody knew was going on.
Creating guidelines within the industry to know what to do when they see a girl with a problem was an important first step. What we’ve been doing with discussions like this one is making sure that the message gets out there to everyone.’’

As more stories like this unfold, I hope that more people write about it, express concern about it and most of all do something about it. 

Images via Terry Richardson

You may also like