By Danny McCarthy, Staff Writer
With the influx of celebrity nude photos on Sunday, featuring Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, and Kate Upton, amongst about eighty others, I’m left feeling a little scared but a lot more grossed out. One reason for this feeling is obvious: some hacker managed to obtain personal, private and — in some cases — deleted photos of various female celebrities. Now, a celebrity nude “scandal” is nothing new; we’ve weathered the storms of Kanye, Ray J, Kim Kardashian’s sex tape, Anthony Weiner, and even the recent news of 5 Seconds of Summer band member Calum Hood. But this leak isn’t a “scandal.” It wasn’t due to the carelessness or incompetence or ill luck of some of the aforementioned people. This leak is a crime.
And that’s more the reason why I feel grossed out. People are treating this leak as if it is partially the fault of the celebrities. They took nude photos of themselves, right? They kept them on hackable phones, right? Late night comedians—Conan O’Brien, Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Kimmel—are cracking jokes, poking fun at Apple, iCloud and Kim Kardashian, and I feel like they are making light of a very serious situation. This wasn’t a slip-up or a whoopsie-daisy. I’m glad to see that none of the celebrities are apologizing for taking naked photos. Because honestly, they are not in the wrong. These are adults who took photos in the safety and privacy of their residences and an anonymous creep behind a computer violated that safety and privacy.
The hacker who collected the nude photos was holding them at ransom, trying to get money for the pictures. When that didn’t work, he unleashed them all onto the Internet. And that is the most mind-blowing part. He released, without consent or permission, private photos of people. Because in this moment, the victims are not just “celebrities” or “movie stars.” They are people who have been violated.
In the wider celebrity community, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Celebrities are taking to Twitter to implore their followers to not view the photos and respect the privacy of its subjects. Lena Dunham was particularly vocal, saying in a tweet, “The way in which you share your body must be a CHOICE. Support these women and do not look at the pictures.”
The leaking of the photos has brought to light an issue that is constantly debated in our pop culture world. How much privacy do we give to a celebrity? We bombard them with paparazzi, take photos of them playing with their children and now we leak and share their naked photos. Putting yourself in the public eye does not mean giving everything to the public eye. And I think that’s what this leak reaffirmed for me. No one has the right to someone else’s privacy, not even when that person is a celebrity.