The long-running accusations of sexual impropriety aside, Terry Richardson photographed BARACK OBAMA on the eve of his re-election as PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. See also: Oprah, and Zach Galifianakis (to clarify: he photographed them as well, and photographs everyone, I was not implying that the photographs he took of Oprah and Zach Galifianakis were taken on the eve of Barack Obama’s re-election). Tomorrow: more half-nude photos of barely legal women that he found on Avenue A! The day after that: Noam Chomsky, probably. He is just America’s Photographer, I guess. Deal with it dot GIF, ladies! (Via TerrysDiary.)

Comments (29)
  1. I know we’re supposed to hate him, but I really like a lot of his fashion photography. Pretty much everything he shot for Harper’s Bazaar in the ’90s is excellent.

    Again, not speaking to his character, but he does produce great work.

    As for his less commercial stuff (i.e. everything in his books), it’s not my cup of tea, but I’m not going to clutch my pearls.

    Does he manipulate and harass his models? I hope not, but the stories from the models themselves are less than convincing to me. If true, it’s indefensible, good body of work or not.

    • Yes, definitely downvote this. How dare I express my opinion in a calm, reasoned manner. TO THE PITCHFORKS!

      • Does Pitchfork allow comments now? What a nightmare that would be!

      • If you don’t want to get downvoted, you may want to reconsider making a comment that basically says that you think (without presenting any reason for it) that everybody who has accused Terry Richardson of sexual harassment/assault is lying. This is an attitude that keeps many rapists from getting convicted and discourages many rape victims from coming forward in the first place.

        Can I say that I know 100% for sure that Terry Richardson is a rapist? No. But the number of models who have accused him of if not rape then certainly an unacceptable level of sexual harassment in the workplace, combined with the misogynistic nature of his work and comments that he himself has made give a strong impression that at least some of the allegations are true.

        • Thank you for typing this out catweazle. I was too busy trying to drown myself in my to-go cup of miso soup to write a response.

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          • Look, I’m not going to get into a big argument with you if that’s what you’re looking for. I think it’s pretty obvious that I wasn’t referring to you commenting on blogs specifically but the attitude toward rape victims that your comment exemplifies. You complained about getting downvotes (and for the record, I didn’t downvote you), I explained why it’s happening. If you can’t see the inherent misogyny in the way he photographs women vs. the way he photographs men, I’m not going to waste my time trying to explain it to you.

          • Actually, not because specifically you said that in this one comment, but when the quoteunquote common knowledge is that rape or harassment victims in general do not have credible stories – and that IS the quoteunquote common knowledge, thanks to an unending supply of comments like this – it does lead to women feeling like there is no point in coming forward.

            I really didn’t need to jump in the fray of a thread like this because i have to make sure the buildings go up and stay up today, but i felt a need to make one meaningful statement this week instead of just stupid gifs.

    • I only know him for these idiotic pics of people standing in front of a white sheet wearing his glasses with their thumbs up, and for stories of inappropriate behaviour and animal rape (I am not going to link to that, you sickos can google it yourselves). Anyway, I googled his Harper’s work and wow you are right! This picture is so, so great!

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      • It’s okay that you don’t get it, or don’t want to, but that just makes your position worse. There’s no straw man argument anywhere. Doubting stories of sexual harrassment, as a general position, is participation in rape culture, even if it is closer to the fringe, but you toss yourself much deeper into the culture by refusing to acknowledge the problem.

      • Stephen Meowlkmus, while I’m sure you’re trying to be reasonable, I think this thread underscores the major issue surrounding rape: while no one wants to mistakenly accuse someone of rape, that actually happens FAR, FAR, FAR less than cases in which actual rape victims are disbelieved. FAR less.

        Certainly one’s attitude cannot be ‘if it’s not on film, it didn’t happen’:

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          • 1. Sexual harassment is still part of rape culture. Coercion is rape.

            2. You are not the first person to use these reasons to dimiss claims. Misogynists and defense lawyers have been using the same strategy for years, depressingly successfully. I’d challenge you to tell the story of something terrible and complicated, all the while knowing everyone will doubt you, look for ways to “catch” you, without changing your story a little. People don’t report these things right away because they are ashamed, blaming themselves, think no one will believe them, etc. Not running immediatly to the police, who have a cultural history of not giving a fuck, is not a sign of lying.

          • It would be an incredibly difficult decision to go to the police or make a formal complaint if you were a young model trying desperately to get work in an industry that consistently supports photographers who exploit young women. He seems to prey on young models at the start of their career. For these girls, being photographed by Terry Richardson is a very coveted experience and they don’t want to do anything that would almost certainly cause them to be ostracized from the modeling industry just as their careers are taking off. They have the confidence and support to come forward only when they are more secure in their careers and have seen that others have come forward as well.

          • All you have to do (don’t do it) is watch one of the many videos they have on Vice of him doing a shoot with very young women and you will understand. Creepy does not even begin to describe it. It’s pretty much about as rape-y as it gets. He and Dov Charney are basically neck-and-neck for the Worst Person in The World trophy race.

  2. Pretty sure Louis C.K. is doing this to get back at Videogum for dropping the Louis C.K. promise.

  3. This is why we can’t have nice things photographed.

  4. Ugh. This fucking guy

  5. Fact check: Those Obama photos were actually from a VIBE Magazine photoshoot all the way back in 2007 (Terry Richardson was less widely known to be creepy then, I doubt Obama’s people would still let him photograph the president now). Those pictures were reposted on Terry’s blog on the eve of Obama’s re-election to celebrate or capitalize on a news story or whatever, I don’t know.

  6. I always assumed those Obama/Richardson photos were Photoshops because come on it’s the goddam President, but this post prompted me to do some research and it turns out they’re real!

    But they’re from 2007, when Vibe magazine commissioned Richardson to do the photoshoot for their cover story.

    Same story as Louis CK, I guess. It’s not like everyone saying, “Hey can you get me that American Apparel photographer that has a really uncomfortable history with sexual harassment?” Magazines just love using the dude.

  7. Next season on Louie…..

  8. The boys are both wearing their uniforms!

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