Photographers, Mario Testino (left) and Bruce Weber (right) are responsible for some of the most iconic Vogue covers to date. They have shot stars like Rihanna, Serena Williams, Kate Moss, Neymar, and many many more. They have also worked with brands like Burberry, Calvin Kline, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Testino has been a favored photographer of royalty in the UK. However, their careers are coming to a screeching halt because of the dozens of sexual harassment allegations from former male models and assistants that have surfaced.
Testino is battling thirteen allegations while Weber is at fifteen, and both numbers are growing. Testino is said to be involved in groping and masturbation advances since the mid 90s. His colleague, Weber, has been said to require excessive nudity and is inclined to take his subjects through “energy exercises” where his search for your inner energy escalates to molestation. Some of the accusers include models Ryan Locke, Terron Wood, and Robyn Sinclair. Both men have denied the accusations; according to BBC Testino claims the men who have come forward, “cannot be considered reliable sources,” and Weber has unconditionally denied all complaints.
After this story broke in the New York Times, Condé Nast publisher of GQ, Vanity Fair, Vogue and more, suspended the photographers indefinitely. We at MEF appreciate this example of integrity and proof that no matter one’s status no one can be held above the law or scrutiny. Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, had this to say about the debacle…
“Even as we stand with victims of abuse and misconduct, we must also hold a mirror up to ourselves—and ask if we are doing our utmost to protect those we work with so that unacceptable conduct never happens on our watch.”
(The full statement can be found on Vogue.com) Wintour brings up an important point. In the entertainment, government, business, education, and human communities it is important that we look out for one another, and that we work toward the recognition and reform necessary to provide a universally safer workplace. Ryan Locke said when it came to working with Testino, “sexual harassment was a constant reality.” A truly horrifying sentence. . .
With the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements in full swing it is outrageous to see numerous pillars of American culture being outed as predators. However, the demonstration of solidarity at the Golden Globes and the initiative taken by Condé Nast to be the final word in the decades-long abuse of power by these men allows hope that the mindset is changing.
Accountability and awareness are what will solve this growing problem. Leave comments with your thoughts, and keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!