On Tuesday there was a massive hack and nudes photos of several female celebrities including but not limited to: Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst, Kate Upton, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Adriana Grande, and Victoria Justice just to name a few, were leaked on the internet. Some of the celebrities have denied that the photos are real and stated they’re fake (Adirana Grande, Victoria Justice) while others have verified they are legitimate and are upset, and rightly so (Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst, Kate Upton, Mary Elizabeth Winstead). The hack was on personal cloud drives of the celebrities and I have seen all kinds of opinions blaming the celebrities for having such photos in the first place and/or being dumb enough to store them on a cloud drive. My response to these opinions is, “Shut the f**k up.”
I’m sorry, but this should not be considered a scandal – it is a crime, pure and simple. These women had their privacy violated, and that is a crime. Those who have verified the photos are of them seem embarrassed and/or angry to some degree, which I totally understand. I don’t think any of the women have anything to be embarrassed about, but in their place I would be mortified, so I understand the embarrassment. But I hope that none of them feel ashamed because the only shame that should be felt or expressed should be focused on the person or persons responsible.
This is a blatant violation, and if I knew more about the law I would go so far as to call it a sex crime. Many commentators seem to be focused on the women who were exposed. Summing up most of the comments, these people seem to think that because these women are celebrities, this is an automatic trade-off. People seem to be busy judging the celebrities who were hacked in two different ways. First, as celebrities they should know better than to ever take any nude photos at all. Second, they should be smart enough not to store it on a cloud storage drive. I think both of these statements are wrong, and part of a different problem.
I agree that with celebrity status, celebrities lose a degree of privacy because they are public figures. This means when they go out they get recognized, have to deal with paparazzi, and always have to think about their images (if they choose to) when they are out or speaking to the media, etc. But their celebrity status does not mean they should lose the privacy everyone should have in their own homes. That is ridiculous. Whether they took nude photos because they were proud, or for/with a lover or for whatever other reason is irrelevant. They were taken in the privacy of their homes, stored on personal drives and therefore should be safe from ‘but they’re a celebrity, this is the trade-off’ stamp that many people seem to put on this.
It reminds of two years ago, when the British Royals had two nude picture scandals within three weeks of each other. Prince Harry had some nude photos leaked when he was drinking and partying with friends. He was playing strip-something or other and was in the company of many friends, drinking and having a good time. Weeks later, pictures of Kate Middleton were taken when she was on a private holiday with Prince William. They were unaware they could be seen, and the photographer was half a mile away and was using a powerful telephoto lens. Half a mile away!
Back then (2012) the reactions to Harry’s photos and Kate’s photos were very similar when it came to the public and commentators. They should have known better. But these two instances are not the same thing. Harry was partying with several friends and messing around naked. This was not a private moment and he was obviously not shy. The photos could have been leaked by several different friends. Whereas Kate was with her husband, sunning topless in the privacy of the home they were staying in while on vacation. The photographer took the photo from half a mile away. This was an invasion of privacy and a terrible violation.
While I firmly believe that both Royals had the right to stop the spread of these photos since they were both unaware they had been taken, Harry made a spectacle and didn’t care while Kate was having a private and innocent moment with her husband. Completely different things. I would like to think if I was ever vacationing with my husband, I would not have to worry about private photos being leaked if we decided to skinny dip or something. Not that I have plans to, but it is the principle of the matter.
And one more thing that is on a somewhat different note, but still related to this. I absolutely hope that no one expects any of the women who were affected by the hack to apologize, and none of the women do. Too often, when there are nude photo or sex tape leaks, the public (and media) focus on the women involved in a negative light, but not the men. If a guy’s ‘junk’ is revealed then it is all “boys will be boys” and becomes something of jokes, rather than actual judgment. But for women it is that old school double standard. Men having nude photos or any other thing to do with sex is understandable, while for women it is ‘immoral’. I sincerely hope that this does not turn into that.
Bottom line: Those who were affected by the hack have nothing to apologize for, and no blame to take. They are adults and have every right and privilege to do as they please in the privacy of their own homes. They do not lose this right because they are a celebrity. To call this a scandal is placing some kind of blame (even if it is unspoken) on the women whose photos were leaked. They are not people involved in a scandal; they are victims of a crime. Let’s not revictimize them by placing blame (and yes, statements like “they should have known better” is doing just that).