The Fashion Industry Yells #MeToo
In early January, an Instagram user who goes by the handle, @ShitModelMgmt made a post requesting some “gossip.” She had no idea that what she would get back were hundreds of stories from fellow models detailing their personal experiences with sexual harassment, assault, and even rape within the modeling industry.
After receiving these upsetting but brave stories, @ShitModelMgmt decided to use her new-found platform to start publicly naming names on a “Blacklist” website. The list of industry professionals who allegedly sexually harassed/assaulted these women ranged from photographers to agents and stylists. With their permission, she also posted screenshots of the direct messages she received from these women in the fashion industry.
While creating this Blacklist of fashion predators was meant to serve as a warning or guide for models to know who to avoid in the industry, it proved to be more of a danger. After only a week, @ShitModelMgmt took the list down due to threats being made regarding her and her family. She also feared the possibility of legal action being taken by those listed. Unfortunately, this is one of the many reasons why so many victims are afraid to come forward and why those who do should be protected and applauded.
In the meantime, the Model Alliance is working to correct the years of misconduct that has been the underbelly of the fashion industry. A “lid has been lifted,” said supermodel Karen Elson at a Model Alliance event to celebrate her joining the board. “There’s been this huge weight of silence in the fashion business where, for 20 years, I’ve witnessed a lot of negative things. And a lot of positive, but the negative stuff never gets talked about. It gets brushed under the carpet. No one is formally held accountable. For me, personally, I think it’s high time that it was.”