James Tawfik

S&M: Trolls needs to STFU about Terry Richardson

terry richardson
Image: Wiki Commons/By CHRISTOPHER MACSURAK

A #trending topic across my Facebook and Twitter feeds has been about the alleged messages between model Emma Appleton and photographer Terry Richardson, in which  he allegedly offered her a Vogue spread for…well, her legs spread.

While these conversations are an apparent hoax (with Facebook confirming that Richardson has not sent the messages), what’s getting me quite rattled are the conversations between uneducated keyboard warriors clogging my social media channels thinking their opinions are far more valid than any legal teams.

Really, their opinions are about as important as Lindsay Lohan.

Social media trolls are reading about the Facebook message thread and googling “Terry Richardson”, then forming ill-informed opinions based solely on face value. They don’t know the subtext of his photos nor can they identify the clear differentiation between his editorial work and his art pieces.

Calling him a sexual predator and saying he is “sick, perverted and psychotic” because he uses full frontal nudity in his work seems utterly absurd and completely closed-minded.

What is the difference between Terry-world and Madonna’s Erotica or Andy Warhol’s Blowjob?

I have followed Richardson’s work for several years. I admire his way of taking high-profile celebrities and placing them in really pedestrian situations. He explores sex and sexuality in a very confronting and realistic manner, with his pieces both raw and thought-provoking, while overlaid with a voyeuristic cheekiness. His work has not only been admired but his fragrance campaigns are iconic.

To be perfectly clear, I don’t ever believe that a tit for tat (pun intended) ultimatum is ever ok. But let me remind everyone – it is 2014. We live in a sexually-revolutionised world where people can express themselves freely and if a picture of two consenting adults engaging in a sexual act comes your way and you don’t like it…

Turn the other way.

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One Comment;

  1. NancyLawless said:

    Support for Richardson? Coming from a man…what a surprise! Richardson doesn’t do art, he does commercials…And free speech? Yes it’s about context and nuance, but Richardson doesn’t seem to be particularly good at either. But hey, it’s sexy! We’ll worry about the victims later.

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