Sexual Harassment and the Fashion Industry
Finally came out to light what many knew long time ago. They did, many did, they just didn’t have the courage to speak about it. Now, with the controversy regarding Harvey Weinstein, many women in Hollywood have come out and told the stories.
Today’s blog is not to add more stories to Harvey Weinstein, it’s about a closer and almost equally old story. Terry “Uncle Terry” Richardson being banned from working with any of Conde Nast publications. I want to talk about this since it touches on the industry I work every single day, and because I have an opinion I want to share with my readers and be heard by all those around me.
If you work in the Fashion industry, you are aware that in every set there are thousands of stories being told. We love remembering the good times, adventures, funny moments, etc. Sometimes the conversation also leads to who of the legendary icons you’ve worked with. There is one constant that I’ve heard from all these stories, and that is of how weird it has been to work with Terry Richardson. Abusive, weird, gross, pushy to the point of being disrespectful are some of the comments heard. Why did it take so long? Why wait until now?
I am not anyone to judge, he will be judged and it’s being judged by his actions. What I promised myself I would do, is create a great environment for those who work with me and around me. I’m a male Photographer and Director and it’s my responsibility to make anyone in front of my lens to feel comfortable. I think about each of these girl’s parents, how can they feel after they hear all the stories, after they see their lovely daughter changing in front of their own eyes, changing the way she acts, showing signs of depression and who knows what else.
As Photographers we have some power and it is our duty to use it for the good. I try my best to be a mentor and give advice to the new faces (be smart, use this job for bigger goals, enjoy your time but be cautious, be adventurous but don’t put yourself at risk), these are girls that are most of the time underage and full of dreams, they see the Fashion industry as this wonderful fairytale that will take them to fields full of flowers and unicorns where friends just laugh and have eternal fun. They ignore the witches and wolves that are out in the woods, waiting to take advantage of them.
We are all part of the solution, from the Agents, to the Production Crews, to the Clients and other Models. These are times where being ethical and respectful must be praised. The opposite can be and is being denounced. We love our industry and work hard, so let’s kick those who hurt the industry out and keep working for a better workplace.
I support those who have come out and shared their stories, I feel bad something happened to them and continue my promise of working to create a better workplace for those around me. For me it’s as simple as this; if those working with me feel they’re working in a safe environment, they will be able to focus on doing a better job, thus helping me create better pictures for my clients. Ladies, your job should not include abuse, and does not include abuse, that’s not the definition of hard work or success.