The evil doer often comes to harm through his own deceit.–Aesop fable
Woody Allen. Robert Kelly. Terrance “Terry” Richardson. These three men are regarded as the crème de la crème in their respected industries and have all been accused, some tried in a court of law, and found guilty by the public of inappropriate sexual behavior. All have gone to the greatest of lengths to cover and annihilate the “rumors” of accusations, even penning public proclamations of innocence. The latest scandal of the three features famed fashion and portrait photographer, Terry Richardson. Known for his explicit, often nude, images of models and celebrities, Richardson has photographed some of the best in the business and worked for top publications. His resume is quite impressive; his work well received and is name is infamous. But the allegations that appeared via Twitter three days ago published by Emma Appleton are not the first of its kind. In 2010 and 2013, Richardson, who’s explicit often nude images tend to push the boundary of sexual and appropriate behaviors, stood accused of similar conduct by professionals in the industry. Dirt was slung from both sides as Richardson and his supporters fought to discredit the voices that cried foul and defend his brand and name. As with most sensationalized internet stories, the debacle settled into dust particles as the fire slowly burned into nothingness without a clear indication of the true details of the he said she said battle. Richardson continued to work and play as, I’m certain, he felt he dodged the flaming arrows of injustice and the attempt to vilify his persona. But on Sunday, US Vogue issued a clear and concise public statement, proclaiming,”The last assignment Terry Richardson had for US Vogue appeared in the July 2010 issue and we have no plans to work with him in the future.” Quickly distancing itself from the scandal and possible storm of criticism that will transpire in the future (Vogue has recently had its share, and more of public judgment handed to them by the Kim and Kanye cover mess). What’s different about the scandal of today versus yesterday is public support. No one, not one person, has come to stand behind Richardson. The photographer himself hasn’t spoken a word except one lousy standard declaration through his publicist. The silence seeping through Richardson’s dark room isn’t good; it would appear there is some difficulty in finding influential voices that are willing to buck against the power of Anna Wintour and Vogue.
Where does this leave Richardson? Innocent, guilty or perhaps the conversation in question between himself and Appleton was blown out of proportion, it will take quite a miraculous turn of events for this situation to be favorable for him. Richardson can kiss the power his name once yielded goodbye. Yes, he will continue to work and play perhaps not as boldly, but his seat is no longer perched atop of the industry. Remember John Galliano? I do, as many others; however we don’t often hear his name anymore, read about any recent work or accomplishments. The same fate, I believe, awaits Terry Richardson.