IMAGE MAKERS: According to sources, The New York Times is said to be working on an investigative article about top fashion photographers and abuse in the modeling industry, and the story could be coming out soon. Sources said the Times’ team working on the story includes Jacob Bernstein and Vanessa Friedman.
A New York Times spokeswoman said, “As a general rule, we don’t comment on what may or may not publish in future editions.”
“It is apparent that the conversation needs to happen, and this industry as a whole needs to take a really close look at years of tolerated and accepted practices and deal with its consequences. Abuse comes in all shapes and forms, psychological pressure, verbal and sexual abuse being the most obvious,” said David Bonnouvrier, founder of DNA Model Management.
There have been numerous press reports over the last month about harassment in various forms in industries ranging from Hollywood to media to politics. The Times broke the story about allegations involving Harvey Weinstein and sexual harassment, which was followed by an in-depth report in The New Yorker.
Earlier this month, Edie Campbell, one of Britain’s best-known models and a vocal member of Cameron Russell’s online campaign to raise awareness around the harassment of models at the hands of photographers and members of the fashion industry, wrote an open letter to the fashion industry, which was published in WWD. In it, the model admonishes mainstream media for their silence over the abuse suffered by models.
“We operate within a culture that is too accepting of abuse, in all of its manifestations. This can be the ritual humiliation of models, belittling of assistants, power plays and screaming fits. We have come to see this as simply a part of the job. Although we may not all, as individuals, have actively contributed to this culture, every time we turn a blind eye, our silence perpetuates that culture. Our inaction makes us complicit,” wrote Campbell.
Last month, Condé Nast and Condé Nast International officially cut ties with fashion photographer Terry Richardson, who has been accused of sexual misconduct in the past. Other publishers and brands followed suit. The moves against sexual harassment in fashion followed a campaign by model Russell in which she asked models to post on Instagram their experiences of being harassed in the industry. Both female and male models anonymously posted instances where they were harassed by well-known fashion photographers.
Around that time, Condé Nast issued a statement condemning sexual harassment and calling for industry-wide action.