Monday, February 23, 2009

No privacy for the famous?

I know this is old news by now, but I am really bothered by the release of the post-assault picture of Rhianna, presumably taken by the police after her fight with Chris Brown.

First off, we don’t know all the details so I’m gonna hold off sharpening my pitch fork and attacking Chris Brown. I am in no means accepting his behavior, I just feel like we don’t have enough information…Yet.

That being said, the reason I’m bothered by this is because this is not an entertainment story. This is the release of a picture of a domestic violence victim and it’s wrong. Period.

A great article was written about the release of the video at The Smoking Gun.
If you're wondering whether TMZ struggled with the question of whether to publish the police evidence photo of a battered Rihanna, we point you to a story the site posted last year. The gossip outlet, which pays for stories and likely shelled out a fortune for the Rihanna image, last April published the name and photograph of a 14-year-old boy whom TMZ identified as the alleged victim of a sex crime. The child, the site reported, was the son of a celebrity, hence its interest in this particular minor's sexual abuse. The "Exclusive" TMZ story, which remains on the site, noted that the boy was "at the center of a criminal investigation" and the "alleged victim of 'unlawful sex.'" The child, TMZ reported, was supposedly dating a 22-year-old woman whose ex-boyfriend became jealous and called cops. As a result, the site reported, cops began examining whether "an adult [was] having sex with someone under 18." The TMZ story, which we've reprinted below in a redacted form, was illustrated with a photo of the alleged victim that was taken when he was 10. So if TMZ editor Harvey Levin, pictured at right, pops up on television to talk about his tortured decision to publish the photo of a domestic violence victim, know that he is full of shit.
I really believe this situation can be turned into something positive, but it’s up to Rhianna to decide if that’s a step she wants to take.

But maybe she doesn’t want to be the face of domestic violence, and we need to respect that too.

It just says something really pathetic about our culture when we accept the behavior of gossip magazines releasing victim photos and paparazzi lines outside hotels trying to get photographs of deceased actors.

This is a great video from Ill Doctrine about domestic violence, especially in hip hop, and the all too common response of blaming the women or rationalizing the man’s behavior.

"My point is it’s not right for anyone to hit anyone else. If men are so vulnerable in their masculinity that if a women punches them they have to flatten her on the ground, what is that saying about them?"

Here is a link to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. I hope you never need to use it.


  1. It makes me quite angry that a photo taken by the police can so easily be 'sold' or misplaced and end up in some god damn poinless celeb magazine.

    for pictures like that i think you need to have permission from that said person.

    Saying that maybe this is a good thing, which will help Rhianna? it will afford her more protection. Its the other women and some men who are not in the public eye who dont have that sort of luxury to protect themselves.

  2. I totally agree. In some states it's public record, but I don't believe that's the case in California.

    I should have clarified what I mean when I said this can be a good thing. Sorry lol. I meant that this situation can be a good thing in the sense that it shows young girls the unfortunate reality of some relationships.


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