A Scandalous Epidemic

Why are celebrities like Woody Allen, Terry Richardson, and James Franco being overlooked for the accusations in their name, with barely a second thought? Although the cases involving the three men were brought to the media and the world, it hasn’t appeared to make a dent in their credibility. Woody Allen, a man who needs no introduction, is a director who is unlike any other. Most famous for his films Annie Hall, Blue Jasmine, Manhattan, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and more, he was recently brought up in the news where the starring role was himself. His adopted daughter Dylan Farrow recently penned an open letter, accusing the man who was supposed to be her father, of sexual abuse. Published by the New York Times, Farrow talks about the torture for the first time and refuses to stand down. In a response to the article titled, “Reactions to Woody Allen and Dylan Farrow,” the first commenter Na’Ama Yehuda points out right away that we don’t know the facts of the story so we cannot make any assumptions or judgements. That being said, I commend Farrow for having the courage to come out against her father, since I can’t imagine how terrifying it would be. Unfortunately, while surfing the web, I found an article that re-iterated that this personal scandal would not darken Woody Allen’s shine. The exact headline states: “Woody Allen Star Not ‘Fading’ As Moviegoers and Oscar Voters Ignored The Scandalous Headlines And Embraced The Movies.” I don’t think these people should judge his movies based on his personal life, yet you would believe it would be taken into more consideration. By continuing to let Woody Allen sit on his cinematic pedestal, it doesn’t take these allegations into a serious account.

 Woody Allen with adopted daughter Dylan Farrow

Terry Richardson is a man you can familiarize yourself with if you want to read my article The Terry Richardson Debate. To give you some insight, he is a world renowned fashion photographer, who has worked with Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, GQ, Rolling Stone, and many others. Instead of being talked about for his talent, he has come under fire many times for incidents involving young models. Type “Terry Richardson scandals” into Google and you are faced with many disturbing headlines: “Meet Terry Richardson, The World’s Most F–ked Up Fashion Photographer,” “Exposing Terry Richardson, fashion’s favorite “pervert“, “More of Terry Richardson’s Former Subjects Come Forward.” It’s incredibly alarming to know that across the web, it’s common knowledge that he doesn’t sound like someone to work with. Yet many major magazines and artists still call on him for big projects. Jezebel pointed out a statement Richardson gave to The Observer in 2004 on how he does his work: “A lot of it starts with me saying to a girl, ‘Do you want to do nudes?’ And they’re like, ‘I don’t want to be naked.’ So I’ll say ‘I’ll be naked and you can take the pictures. You can have the camera. You can have the phallus.'” Is this the kind of man we want representing an industry we are all so passionate about? With so many other talented photographers in the roster, like Tim Walker; David Bailey; Mario Testino; Patrick Demarchelier; I think they can resist putting Richardson in their pages.

Terry Richardson with model Miranda Kerr

James Franco is the latest to suffer from the scandalous epidemic. The actor, who used to be one of my favourite celebrity heart throbs, admitted to flirting with a 17-year-old girl over Instagram and later suggesting via text that they rent a room together. Some thought it was an April Fool’s Joke gone wrong, or an attempt to promote his film Palo Alto coming out. The 35-year old actor admitted to his actions on Live! With Kelly and Michael, saying that he was embarrassed. He continued to talk social media in an order to defend himself and many people forgave him. In Canada, the age of consent is 16, yet it worries me to think that people would have been just as forgiving if the girl who outed him was a young Canadian teen.

I reached out to one of my best friends, Will, to pick his brain about the topic. “I think it’s disgusting and really telling of the state of our society when it comes to sex and gender.” He then brought up the subject of Kristen Stewart’s affair with director Rupert Sanders. The two worked together on the film Snow White and the Huntsman where they started the affair. Celebrity gossip rag Us Weekly released “exclusive pictures” of Stewart and Sanders together. Immediately, Stewart was vilified and lost a ton of respect from the industry, the world, and her fans. I am not defending cheating, and what they did was definitely wrong, but the amount of hate and disrespect she must have faced is paramount to what the three men above received. For more than a year, she was attacked by the news, and I can only imagine how hard it would be to keep your head up and go forward with work after the media shit storm. Saunders received backlash from the affair but never as much as Stewart, which is another sign of how the media and society treat different genders.

I’m not trying to reprimand the work that the men I wrote about have done or any future work they will do, but it’s definitely important to stay knowledgeable about the different scandals they get involved in. What may sound like celebrity gossip could come out as something much bigger and more serious. Differentiating a celebrity’s work from their personal life is important, but we have to draw a line where enough is enough.

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