In what is being called the biggest celebrity hack in history, naked photos of hundreds of female celebrities have been leaked online from an anonymous user on the platform 4chan.
While some, like Ariana Grande and Victoria Justice, are tweeting that the photos of themselves are fake, most seem to be confirming the true horror: These private, intimate moments are real and being passed around the internet without the consent of the victims.
Reps for Lawrence said, “This is a flagrant violation of privacy. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”
Upton’s attorney also confirmed the news. “This is obviously an outrageous violation of our client Kate Upton’s privacy. We intend to pursue anyone disseminating or duplicating these illegally obtained images to the fullest extent possible.”
In a statement released by the FBI on Monday, the officials said they are investigating this breach. “The FBI is aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high-profile individuals, and is addressing the matter.”
Apple also told Time that they are aware of the incident and looking into it, though wouldn’t provide any further details.
While some celebrity nude leaks are orchestrated publicity events to further someone’s career, this is not the case in this situation. In fact, it’s the absolute opposite and to look at the photos is to encourage the debasement of our society by disrespecting these women more than they already have been.
These leaks represent a crime that should be punished to the fullest potential of the law.
Look at the FBI’s wording in the statement above, because it sums up the gravity of this situation: “intrusions and the unlawful release.” This is a serious breach and violation of women’s bodies and personal lives. To click on these images would only be to further encourage this exploitation.
This incident is sexual assault. These women’s bodies have been violated without their permission. Just because these photos are out there does not mean these private moments are meant to be given to the world.
For a society that is so afraid of information made available on the internet, the fact that some people think this kind of exploitation is OK because these women are already in the spotlight is disgusting. Public figures deserve to have personal boundaries and privacy just like the rest of us. They are human beings before they are celebrities.
They are not responsible or deserving of this kind of breach of privacy. Nor should anyone be subjected to this kind of invasion.
Though Lawrence is known for laughing off moments throughout her celebrity career, this is not one of those times. She should not be expected to embrace the reality that these photos are available to the public without her consent. This is something she and the other women should be upset by. And society should be upset by this.
Instead of encouraging this type of crime, we should be supporting the women who were affected by this horrifying incident. I encourage everyone not to seek these photos out. To do so is only to support a rape culture that we should all be rejecting.