Harper’s Bazaar UK editor Justine Picardie has explained why she has never featured the work of controversial fashion photographer Terry Richardson since she joined the magazine in 2012.
Richardson – who is known for his sexually explicit imagery – has always denied persistent allegations of sexual assault and harassment made by numerous models who have worked with him. However, in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Condé Nast has banned his work from appearing in its magazines.
“He’s never made any secret of his images, they’ve appeared in coffee table books and in exhibitions,” she said on BBC Radio 4 this morning. “That very overtly sexualised version of women was something I didn’t feel happy with.”
She also cited the experience of a former colleague who, when working for a different magazine, had felt uncomfortable in Richardson’s studio.
“There was explicit pornography playing on a screen beside her and there were pornographic images on the walls and she had felt that there was something very troubling going on in that environment,” said Picardie.
“I had only once been in his studio and again I was much younger, a long time before I was editor of Harper’s Bazaar, but again I felt troubled by the explicit imagery that was on the walls.”
Richardson has worked with numerous fashion magazines, and has shot celebrities including Barack Obama and Oprah and filmed music videos for high-profile stars including Beyoncé.
Picardie says her distaste for Richardson has led to arguments with other editors.
“When I said I didn’t like it and I found it troubling there was a sense you might be part of a witch hunt. Witch hunt is a phrase Terry Richardson has used,” she said.
She also asserted that the industry has a duty to protect young, often vulnerable models.
“Adults have to take some responsibility for what’s going on in their industry,” she said. “It’s right to say to young girls this is probably not a good situation for you to be in, I would also say the same to boys. You need to be cautious and we need to protect them from exploitative situations.”
From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK