Leaking A Celebrity’s Naked Photos Would Be OK If The Mob Didn’t Like Them
DID you search for onude photos of Jennifer Lawrence? Did you type in ‘naked Jennifer Lawrence photos’ for research purposes? The leaking of photos and videos of 102 female celebrities is big news.
Commentators have been filling the gaps between the photos with opinion. Caitlin Moran writes in the Times:
If, in the “real world”, someone broke into Jennifer Lawrence’s garden and watched her undressing they would, rightly, be branded a pervert, arrested for trespass, treated as a bit revolting and sentenced to a spell in jail and possibly a stiff course of Just Stop Being A Freaky Mad Pervert therapy.
It’s no different to criminally trespassing into her iCloud and looking at her tits, simply because it’s “on the internet”. It’s “the internet” — not “Imaginary Norulestopia where you can do what you like”. When you treat the greatest communication tool the world has ever known like that, you basically turn it into Donkey Island in Pinocchio.
They might sack the security guards.
Kirsten Dunst gets the web, using two emoji to call Apple a “piece of shit”
Dame Helen Mirren (not hacked) approves, advising: “The best thing is to be superior and not take it too seriously.”
Van Badham takes is very seriously. She tells Guardian readers:
If you click on Jennifer Lawrence’s naked pictures, you’re perpetuating her abuse. Actors may offer their image to public consumption as their professional practice, but what they are not trading is their intimacy. To merely look is an act of sexual violation.
You’ve not looked. You’ve downloaded it onto your mind.
The price of fame is always increased scrutiny, but for any celebrity who does venture out in public, mere scrutiny has now given way to ongoing surveillance. The need for privacy is not only a sacred place to work out who we are, what we do or how we think; it’s a psychological refuge from overwhelming public dissection necessary for anyone’s mental health, famous or not.
So. Privacy is sacred.
There are suggestions that prosecution may result not only for the hacker of the photos, but for those who view and share them. Good. To excuse viewing the images just because they’re available is deplorable. It’s the equivalent of creepily hiding in a wardrobe because a conversation may be taking place you’d be interested, excited or turned on to overhear.
When Richard Scudamore, the Premier League’s chief executive, had his private emails leaked by a secretary, The Guardian’s Jane Martinson wrote:
It was a private joke among friends. It wasn’t meant for anyone else to read. He is 54, and his humour harks back to those halcyon days when men could make crude remarks about women and everyone would laugh. Besides, no one is a bigger champion of women and equality than Richard Scudamore.
It’s hard not to laugh at the defence of the Premier League boss, whose sexist emails were leaked to the Sunday Mirror. “Richard realises his comments were inappropriate and wrong but they were not intended for wider recipients,” said a “source”. “It was meant in a Frankie Howerd style way. His commitment to the equality agenda and anti-discrimination is writ large.” You at the back there? Titter ye not.
So. Is privacy only right if you like the person and what they’re saying or doing?
What if the pervert in the celeb’s garden had seen said celeb dresessed in Klux Klan robes, giving a Nazi salute and shooting at cardboard-cut-out faces of prominent Jews and blacks? What then?
Brendan O’Neill wonders:
Recent events suggest it would be the latter – that if the hacker had found a video of a famous woman being hateful he would have been hailed as heroic rather than branded a pervert. In recent months, you see, the private text messages, emails and telephone conversations of various well-known people have been leaked and pored over with widespread media approval. We have watched as the woman who leaked football chief Richard Scudamore’s private and embarrassing emails was celebrated for her bravery rather than denounced for her lack of respect for a man’s privacy. We heard the world cheer in unison as former American basketball boss Donald Sterling was expelled from his sportover an entirely private phone conversation he had, which was secretly recorded and leaked. More recently, some of the same media outlets now outraged by the leaking of private photos from female celebrities’ mobile phones were only too happy to republish and sternly condemn less-than-PC private text messages sent by two British football officials on their mobile phones.
He should Malky Mackay to the list.
“If you don’t want your words broadcast in the public square, don’t say them … Such potential exposure forces us to more carefully select our words and edit our thoughts.”
They were not censured.
When Ricky Gervais made a similar point, blaming the celebs for having naked photos of themselves, he deleted his tweet.
His point was idiotic. Which is why he deleted his tweet – well, that and the flack he got on Twitter for it.
But had the Twitter mob approved and laughed, would it then have been ok?
Who decides what and what is not off limits? Is it all about conforming – if we all agree they deserved it, then fine, they did..?