|Photographer Terry Richardson, seen here at a 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Hollywood, has been dropped by Conde Nast amid proliferating sexual harassment controversies. - AFP Photo|
NEW YORK – US fashion photographer Terry Richardson, who has been accused of sexually exploiting models for years, will no longer have his work published in some of the world’s top magazines, Conde Nast confirmed on Tuesday.
It is the latest indication of shrinking tolerance for powerful men accused of sexual impropriety following the downfall of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein with actresses, models and ordinary women increasingly emboldened to speak out.
London-based Conde Nast International, whose titles include Vogue, Vanity Fair and Glamour, circulated an email within the media group on Monday announcing that the company would no longer work with him.
Staff were informed that any work already commissioned from Richardson but not yet published should be "killed or substituted", British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported.
The company confirmed the content of the email and said it had no further comment. Conde Nast US said it had "nothing planned" with the married father of two going forward.
"Sexual harassment of any kind is unacceptable and should not be tolerated," the US branch of the media company told AFP in an email.
The 52-year-old New York photographer is famous in the fashion industry for producing sexually explicit and controversial images of models.
His work has appeared in glossy magazines, and he has shot campaigns for luxury fashion houses including Valentino, Carolina Herrera and Yves Saint Laurent.
He photographed Barack Obama prior to his election as president and directed Miley Cyrus’s video for her 2013 Wrecking Ball single in which she appeared naked. Cyrus has since said she regrets the video.
Beset for years by allegations of sexually exploiting models, Richardson – like Weinstein – has insisted that all relationships were consensual.
In 2014, he took to the Huffington Post to "correct" what he called an "emotionally-charged witch hunt" against him.
"I collaborated with consenting adult women who were fully aware of the nature of the work," he wrote. "I have never used an offer of work or a threat of rebuke to coerce someone into something that they did not want to do."
On Tuesday, a representative said Richardson was "disappointed".
"Many of his professional interactions with subjects were sexual and explicit in nature but all of the subjects of his work participated consensually," the representative said.
Conde Nast International acted a day after Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper questioned why Richardson was "still feted by fashionistas" despite "gaining a reputation as the Harvey Weinstein of fashion".
US model Cameron Russell last week launched an Instagram campaign called #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse that swiftly garnered more than 70 anonymous accounts of abuse, lewd behaviour and harassment. — AFP