Celebrity Nudes Reveal Media Hypocrisy

Jennifer Lawrence in May 2014

Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage

Jennifer Lawrence in May 2014

Hugh Moffitt, Opinions Editor

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, chances are that you have heard about (or even seen) the notorious leaked nude pictures of celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Kate Upton, and many others. The leak, the largest of its kind to date, is rumored to just be the the tip of the iceberg in a much larger collection of celebrity nudes stolen by a deep web-based hacker ring over a long period of time.

The leak is practically water-cooler talk in Hollywood, and Twitter is ablaze with celebrities weighing in one way or another. “Even worse than seeing women’s privacy violated is reading the accompanying comments that show such a lack of empathy,” wrote Emma Watson. Naturally, most celebrities voiced their support for the victims, their peers. One celebrity, Patricia Arquette, went as far as to say “every time someone opens a stolen intimate nude photo of anyone, they are becoming a sexual molester, participating in a group molestation.”

I’m sure victims of actual molestation are thrilled with their traumatic experience being likened to a movie star’s naked pictures being lusted after by millions of “e-molesters.” Of course, that doesn’t make any of the people affected by the leak any less a victim.

Writers for the Huffington Post have written several snarling articles — one even calling the scandal “cyber rape.” Other HuffPost writers have written extensively about how the nudes help perpetuate the objectification of Jennifer Lawrence. Maybe HuffPost’s shouldn’t be trying to take the moral high ground on this one, though, considering they have their own website called “Sideboob” that posts pictures of female celebrities wearing risqué outfits leaving little to the imagination.

If that’s not objectification, I’m not sure what is.

HuffPost’s hypocrisy doesn’t end there, though. Like most in the media, they were quick to make light of New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s nude picture leak. The only real difference between the two leaks is that Weiner’s pics were leaked by the person he sent them to, whereas and the celebrities’ pics were stolen and leaked by unknown hackers. Either way, their indecent pictures were put on the Internet without their consent. So why is Jennifer Lawrence a victim and Anthony Weiner the butt of jokes on late night shows (other than his last name)?

Celebrities have also lashed out at Reddit, where most of the pictures were located and made available to the general public. Reddit users of a subreddit pertaining to the leak also made waves in a different way. The group managed to raise over $5,000 in one day for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Only to have them turn it away.

I get that charities have standards, but I think it would make everyone happy if something good came out of a scandal like this, where some news websites like The Verge are throwing around insults like “the detritus of human society.” (Reddit has since pulled all of the posts promoting celebrity nude leaks, and said that they will continue to do so)

With all that is happening around this scandal and all the hypocrisy, I think it is easy to lose sight of the actual issue here. No, looking at a picture does not make you a cyber-rapist, as the Huffington Post would have you believe. And, like it or not, Jennifer Lawrence is no more of a victim than Anthony Weiner.

Everyone has a right to privacy, especially in this day and age. What happened to Jennifer Lawrence and the other celebrities sucks, it really does. She had the right to privacy and the hackers took that from her. However, websites like the Huffington Post cloud and contort a simple issue here to feel morally superior to the rest of us.

It turns out the nude pictures revealed much more about the media than what the celebrities look like with their clothes off.