Monday, 4 July 2016

Unacceptable behavior. How do we react?

A model I very much enjoyed working with in the past, and have kept in touch with since, posted a piece about a well known photographer.  She didn't say who it was but most reading the post, including myself, guessed who it was.

He had belittled, criticised and humiliated her. And she wasn't the only one. But because of his success, and influence he gave the impression that he could damage her reputation and cause her to lose work if she said anything. Other people must have seen his happening. Or had it happen to them. Some are now beginning to talk about him. He is sponsored by some big names, so he has a lot to lose. I can't say if they know about the reports. I hope if they now do, they will investigate.

There have been reports of racial abuse recently. With bystanders seeming to not always act.

And there have been news stories about famous photographers, and one in particular. Who abuse models. Taking advantage of them because they are new to modeling. The people who employ him, or now work with him seem to turn a blind eye. Or refuse to talk about it. Saying that they will not work again if they say anything.

And celebrities have been convicted many years after the offences. With it now becoming clear people knew about what they were doing, or at least heard the rumours, and didn't investigate.

So what's clear is if we see something wrong happening, we need to act.

We shouldn't give power to others, just because they appear to have influence.

If we employ, endorse or support people it is our responsibility to investigate allegations. Not publicly at first. The recent poor treatment of Cliff Richard is a good example of how not to investigate allegations.

If this is not taken seriously, it tarnishes everyone in that line of work. I don't want to be judged based on someone's experience of another photographer.

I haven't had to react to racist incidents. Or had to investigate allocations about people I employ.

But I have been present when a person was perhaps not given the respect they were due. And I didn't say anything. I think maybe because I thought someone else would, or the victim would speak up.

I now hope I would speak.

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