Of late, there's been quite a lot of much overdue discussion about the precarious prospect of separating an artist's vile personal life from his art. It is justifiable? Is it even possible? Whatever your opinion on the matter may be, when it comes to photographer-cum-professional pervert Terry Richardson, there's really no room for debate.
This is because Terry Richardson has been accused multiple times of sexually harassing models on set and of coercing them into performing sexual acts on camera. He has made being a predatory creep into a part of his personal brand, part of the on-set culture on his shoots (just "Uncle Terry" being Uncle Terry!). For Terry Richardson, the "art" and the monstrous artist are inextricably intertwined — and it's time for the fashion world and his myriad celebrity collaborators to stop pretending this hasn't always been the case.
We first reported on Richardson's vile on-set behavior in 2010; model Jamie Peck detailed her hugely uncomfortable experience on set. Richardson asked if he could remove her tampon; he then stripped naked and "strongly suggested" that she masturbate him while his assistants watched. Peck was 19 at the time, not well-established in the industry. She said that she felt "disgusted" afterward. It's evident that Richardson took advantage of the skewed power dynamic between young, inexperienced, unknown model and established and influential fashion photographer in order to coerce Peck into something she didn't want to do. That same year, supermodel Rie Rasmussen confronted him at a Paris fashion event. She told the New York Post: