Terry Richardson, the hipster-uncle-photographer known for his sexually explicit imagery, is feeling the effects of a reeling entertainment industry in the midst of continued allegations against Harvey Weinstein, whose career crashed after decades of allegations culminated in a New York Times exposé and a New Yorker audio release. Yet while Weinstein’s actions were always spoken about in whispers, Richardson’s alleged exploits have been well-known for years. Models came forward with truly revolting accounts of how Richardson would sexually coerce them, sometimes on-camera, and yet he continued to be employed (and celebrated) throughout the fashion world.
Well, it looks like Richardson’s reign of (alleged) terror is grinding to a halt, according to The Telegraph, which reports that Conde Nast International — which has published Uncle Terry’s work in Glamour, GQ, Vanity Fair, Vogue and more — took heed of a circulating email from COO James Woolhouse, who issued this directive to the firm’s “country presidents”:
“I am writing to you on an important matter. Conde Nast would like to no longer work with the photographer Terry Richardson. Any shoots that have been commission[ed] or any shoots that have been completed but not yet published, should be killed and substituted with other material. Please could you confirm that this policy will be actioned in your market effective immediately. Thank you for your support in this matter.”
The Hollywood Reporter notes that they haven’t yet confirmed this report of a formal ban. However, a representative told the publication, “Conde Nast has nothing planned with him going forward. Sexual harassment of any kind is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.”
Richardson’s notoriety has risen and fallen over the years with bubbles of stories frequently prompting him to deny allegations of misconduct. In 2014, he characterized one growing tide of accusations as “a witch hunt,” all while he continued to score gigs to photograph the likes of Jared Leto, Beyonce, and Rihanna, mostly for Conde Nast publications.
Recently, Miley Cyrus admitted that she regretted working with Richardson — especially in reference to her infamous, naked “Wrecking Ball” video. Last week, Richardson reacted to that and buzzings associated with the Weinstein outrage. Richardson stated, “I collaborated with consenting adult women who were fully aware of the nature of the work, and as is typical with any project, everyone signed releases.”
He also (once again) denied using “an offer of work or a threat of rebuke” to prod models into posing suggestively or engaging in sexual acts with him. Those models who say they were assaulted in his studio (and subsequently pressured by his assistant) would disagree.