Demonic incarnation of the penetrative male gaze and all-around terrible person Terry Richardson will no longer be shooting ad campaigns for the high-end gym chain Equinox; the company's opted to go in a "sportier" (less naked and tritely sexualized) direction. Sad news for Terry Richardson fans everywhere — so, mostly just sad news for Terry Richardson and, like, a couple of teenagers who logged onto Tumblr for the first time a few minutes ago.
Richardson has been shooting the Equinox ad campaigns for three years now. All of them have attracted criticism for having essentially nothing to do with fitness. Since everything Uncle Terry touches turns to vapid pseudo-porn, the ads were more about looking model-thin and lounging about seductively in various states of undress. In one, a woman is sultrily crab-walking while a man standing between her legs points a video camera (which is crotch-level, naturally) in her face. "FLEX APPEAL. BY EQUINOX," reads the caption. Another shows the legs and midriff of a woman wearing just underwear and high heels climbing up a staircase. "STAIRMASTER. BY EQUINOX." In a third, a woman in (surprise!) her underwear lounges on the back of a very fit naked man. "DOMINANCE. BY EQUINOX." Earlier this year, a billboard from the campaign that showed a woman in a tight dress on all fours on top of a pool table ("DEXTERITY. BY EQUINOX.") caused protests in Maryland.
The Daily Mail wonders if there's a link between the company's decision to hire another photographer and the recent petition that's been circulating on the Internet urging big brands to stop working with Richardson because he's an alleged sex offender; Equinox has said nothing to indicate this is the case. According to the gym's creative director Liz Nolan:
“We worked with Terry Richardson for three extremely successful campaigns. The natural point has now come to explore a fresh direction, and we’re really excited to launch a provocative new brand campaign in January 2014.”
A week ago, H&M tweeted, "If these accusations [against Richardson] are true, it’s totally unacceptable to us. Currently we’re not working with Terry Richardson." Perhaps Equinox is quietly following suit — or maybe they're just tired of running ridiculous ads that have little to do with what they're trying to sell.
"Equinox ditches Terry Richardson's sexy ads" [Page Six]
Images via Equinox.