Beyoncé released her namesake album last week. It is now number 1 in 104 countries and has since sold over 800,000 copies, an iTunes sales record. In addition to the release of the album, Beyonce has put out 17 new music videos, including "XO" - which was directed by famed photographer Terry Richardson. Well, we know one person who definitely didn't sign that anti-Terry Richardson petition began circulating the web in October. The petition, which urges big brands to stop using the "alleged sex offender and pornographic photographer," gained quite a bit of media attention.
Not long after the petition debuted, Equinox ended its on-going collaboration with Richardson, but stating that "a natural point has now come to explore a fresh direction. H&M has halted its work with Richardson, tweeting: ”If these accusations are true, it’s totally unacceptable to us. Currently we’re not working with Terry Richardson.” For the first time in nearly 6 months, Harper's Bazaar enlisted a new photog for its Kate Hudson cover, following the petition.
It seems, however, that mega-star Beyoncé either didn't get wind of the industry-wide accusations that Richardson sexually harasses models or she just doesn't care because it hasn't happened to her. One of those options is far more plausible than the other. See the thing with all of this Terry Richardson controversy is two-fold. First, Richardson has shot a lot of people. A lot of big name people. He's not going to harass President Obama (who he photographed in 2007), Oprah or Gisele or Beyoncé (who has worked with Richardson before) or Lindsay Lohan and Lady Gaga (frequent subjects and friends of his). So, I'm not entirely sure that the "It hasn't happened to me" argument is a very good one to prove that Richardson has not behaved improperly on the set of a photo shoot. It is clear from the complaints of the girls who have spoken out (but as far as I know, have not filed a criminal complaint), that they are nearly all young, unknown girls, who are trying to make it as models.
Second, since none of these girls have filed a criminal complaint (or at least haven't filed on that I have been able to locate), the petition and the complaints are just not taken as seriously as they would be if there was some tangible proof that could not be denied. Other publications have caught on to this, some questioning if Richardson should be innocent until proven guilty. Because of this lack of evidence, so to speak, all of the claims are still just allegations and Richardson is still 100% innocent in many peoples' eyes - like Beyoncé's. And in a way, she's not entirely wrong. Allegations are allegations. But, with that in mind, she certainly isn't making it any easier for such allegations to be evaluated with some real weight. Thoughts?