Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.
Terry Richardson is controversial, no doubt. Once an envelope-pushing sexual provocateur, the now-mainstream photographer maintains his seedy rep through accusations of inappropriate behavior toward young models and the questionably exploitative photos that end up on Terry's Diary. As Charlotte Free put it, there will always be another girl willing to do whatever Terry wants. And, so, the one community that truly knows him — the fashion community — continues to tolerate his behavior...for now, at least.
Despite his history, it's not unusual to see public figures with reputations to uphold clasp him on the shoulder and smile for the camera alongside him. Maybe Obama or Oprah (yeah, that happened) were unaware of his reputation when shot with him. But don't they have extensive teams to look into potential PR problems?
To be fair, some of these partnerships happened for magazine shoots, so the celebrities may not have had much control over the publication's choice of photographer. Whatever the case, the fact that these photos with high-profile figures even exist signals to us that the world at large either doesn't know or doesn't care about the many accusations hurled against Richardson. If he were a politician with the same unconfirmed charges pressed against him, no one would want to touch him. And yet, being photographed with Terry with your thumbs in the air just isn't a problem these days. Which makes us wonder: Should it be? You tell us.