Was It Really The Right Time To Ban Terry Richardson?

Media company Condé Nast has finally pulled the plug on working with photographer Terry Richardson, but is the timing just really, really bad?

Source: Getty / Taylor Hill

Responsible for GQ, Vanity Fair and Vogue, Condé Nast has some of the most popular magazines in the world under their belt. Photographer Terry Richardson has worked for over two decades with them and more widely within the fashion industry, and sexual misconduct allegations have surrounded him since 2001. But it’s only now, after the Weinstein scandal, the company has decided to cease working with Richardson on all future projects. Richardson is quite open about his questionable behaviour, yet the fashion industry turned a blind eye to it until now.

“Condé 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.” – Vice President James Woodhouse

In retrospect, he’s gone, and that should be the only thing that matters. Except it’s not. Why was the fashion industry so keen on keeping him around through years of sexual misconduct, only to drop him directly after the Weinstein scandal? There’s no new allegations or evidence against him so it seems they’re just playing ‘follow the leader’. Without the Weinsteins and Kevin Spaceys of the world, Richardson would likely have continued working, carrying on the way he does, until he reached a comfortable retirement. While his behaviour bothered those of us with a conscience, it clearly wasn’t enough to get rid of him before.

It doesn’t make anyone look good, and it further perpetuates the idea that no industry is truly safe from exploiters and predators. It seems that the reputation of businesses and brands that fall under scrutiny are more important than either professional ethics or the victims themselves…. especially those who have spoken up about Terry before, but were ignored or dismissed. I mean, the fact that his nickname is ‘Uncle Terry’ is creepy enough for me, why wasn’t it for Condé Nast before now?

And who else is hiding under the mantle of sanctity from the powers that be, carrying on like institutions such as the Catholic Church and protecting their own from their own?


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Should the fashion industry have ditched Richardson years ago? Or are you just glad he’s finally gone? And who else should be exposed now the chips are falling? Tell us your thoughts below.