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A Ban on Terry Richardson

As the conversation about sexual misconduct in fashion heats up, one publisher is prohibiting shoots with the photographer.

Richardson poses for the camera, sitting in the front row.
Terry Richardson sits in the front row at Marc Jacobs’s spring 2017 runway show.
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

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Young women have been accusing photographer Terry Richardson of sexual misconduct since 2010, and though new allegations continued to emerge in the ensuing years, fashion publications, brands, and even newspapers kept on hiring him. Some didn’t: After a rash of new reports in 2014, Vogue and Aldo said they didn’t intend to work with Richardson again. But many have, including Valentino (for its resort 2018 campaign), WSJ magazine (for its September 2017 cover), W magazine (for a November 2017 editorial), and GQ Style Germany (for its fall 2017 issue, with cover star Alexander Skarsgård dressed in full Richardson costume). And that’s just in the last few months.

Of those, at least GQ Style Germany won’t be working with Richardson again. The Telegraph reported last night that Condé Nast International — which owns international editions of magazines like GQ, Vogue, and W — issued a ban on hiring Richardson. “Any shoots that have been commission[ed] or any shoots that have been completed but not yet published, should be killed and substituted with other material,” read COO James Woolhouse’s email, which was leaked to the Telegraph.

Condé Nast confirmed to Racked this morning that the mandate published in the Telegraph is accurate. (Woolhouse’s ban doesn’t apply to Condé Nast’s US titles.) We’ve reached out to Hearst for comment, too, since Harper’s Bazaar, one of its flagship magazines, has worked with Richardson a number of times since 2010.

After the New York Times published its report on sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein early this month, waves of women have come forward about sexual harassment and assault elsewhere in entertainment and in other sectors, including fashion. If this is what it takes for a major publishing house to finally take a stand against predatory behavior in fashion — and not the years of accusations against Richardson, during which he continued to work for powerful global clients — the industry needs to take a hard look at itself. Because it’s not serving the women who make up the bulk of its workforce, and it’s not serving the women who make up the bulk of its customer base. It’s not serving women at all.