Terry Richardson is one of the most successful photographers in the world; His trademark style is highly sexualized and sometimes he even appears naked in pictures alongside his subjects. Despite years of allegations about his behaviour, he has photographed everyone from Barack Obama to Oprah Winfrey and Kate Moss, and has directed music videos such as Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball and Beyoncé’s XO.
A string of fashion magazines and brands have said they will no longer work with the photographer Terry Richardson, who has been the subject of allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour at photoshoots for almost two decades. News that the fashion houses Valentino and Bulgari would stop commissioning Richardson, known for his often explicit material, came shortly after a decision to cut ties by Condé Nast, publisher of magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ.
This story dates back to 2010 when Rie Rasmussen called Richardson out, and others soon followed with graphic descriptions of abuse. Jamie Peck told Jezebel an anecdote about Richardson asking her to take out her tampon so he could play with it. In 2014, Charlotte Waters complained of him licking her bottom and asking her to squeeze his testicles on a shoot. Stylist Anna del Gaizo spoke of him pressing his penis into her face in 2008. Richardson hasn’t helped himself, remarking in 2007 “it’s not who you know, it’s who you blow. I don’t have a hole in my jeans for nothing”.
Caryn Franklin, a fashion commentator and educator who has been speaking out against Richardson since 2013, said the decisions to blacklist him was tied to the recent allegations surrounding producer Harvey Weinstein.
“In fashion, people like Richardson who hold these powerful positions have, up until now, been seen as untouchable, and whatever they need to make happen in the pursuit of ‘art’, and whoever they need to exploit, is just part of the business we’re in,” said Franklin.