The Problem With Condé Nast's Terry Richardson Ban

By: Valeria Ramos

As the #MeToo hashtag continues to spread on social media, more stories of sexual harassment come to light. With the media's focus predominantly on the entertainment and fashion industries, a new name has joined Harvey Weinstein on the list of men whose abuse of power to take advantage of women will no longer be tolerated. 

Terry Richardson is a world-famous fashion photographer known for his sexualized images of models and celebrities. Richardson has led a very successful career in fashion, responsible for iconic celebrity editorials and huge brand campaigns. However, anyone familiar with Richardson's name is also familiar with his reputation for being a creep. 

This week, Condé Nast International - the publishing company responsible for Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ and more - has taken steps to blacklist Richardson by terminating his contract. Needless to say, major brands are following suit by dropping Richardson and his work. While this is all well and good, the question on everyone's mind is why now?

Allegations, rumors and a suspect reputation have followed Richardson around for nearly a decade. If the general public has been familiar with this information, the same can only be assumed for industry professionals. The sad truth in this situation is that the voice of money and profit far overpowers the voice of women. Isn't ironic that only now, several years later, when Richardson, Condé Nast, and every brand that's ever worked with him have all collected their checks and become established in the industry, they find it convenient to say, 'No, we're not going to stand for this.' 

It wasn't enough when young models were put in compromising situations and harassed. Or when celebrities reported feeling uncomfortable on set. It was only when Condé Nast's reputation was at stake that they decided to take action and blacklist Richardson. It had nothing to do with the complaints of abuse, the helplessness of women, and the predatorial behavior of man whose perverted tendencies were no secret. It was all about the money. 

The only silver lining here is Richardson's career coming to an end, and the public's ability to use him as an example and send a message. This whole ordeal was so significant because it proved just how immense the power of social media is. Huge companies took action against a sexual predator not because it was the right thing to do, but because consumers demanded it via social media. Richardson and Weinstein were huge wake up calls to industry elites because they now realize men can no longer be excused of consequences and the voices of women can no longer be silenced. 

photos: T.R.