TIME Opinion

Stop Blaming Jennifer Lawrence and Other Celebrities for Taking Nude Photos in the First Place

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence Mike Coppola—Getty Images

If your reaction to the hack attack on celebrities is to blame them for taking nude photos, you're pointing the finger at the wrong person.

There have been a lot of reactions to the massive leak of nude photos of some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities, including actress Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton, after an anonymous user posted stolen images to image-sharing website 4chan. But one of the most mind-boggling reactions has come from the people who say, “If you don’t take nude photos, they can’t be stolen.”

This is not a fringe reaction. From Ricky Gervais to rapper RZA to many people across the internet, there seems to be a common idea that the horrible and humiliating invasion of these women’s privacy and the theft of their property is in some way their own fault. When Mary Elizabeth Winstead, one of the actresses who had naked images stolen, tweeted, “To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves,” this was one of the responses she received: “‪@M_E_Winstead Stop posing nude on camera, dummy. Your husband not know what you look like nude? ‪#LessonLearned.”

Now, obviously, there is truth to this idea. A person can’t steal something that doesn’t exist. So if you don’t have nude photos, they can’t be stolen. Just like if you don’t have a car, it can’t be stolen. And if you don’t use a credit card, it can’t be compromised.

But that’s absurd, you might be saying. People need cars and they need to use credit cards, but no one needs to take nude photos of themselves. Despite the fact that neither cars, nor credit cards technically qualify as something we need, let’s parse this idea for a moment. In 2014, a huge part of our lives — working, shopping, socializing and dating — involves technology. From shopping history to credit card information to personal correspondence, digital devices store a stunning amount of personal and private information, making them an integral part of our culture. So it’s willfully naive to suggest that a person’s sex life should be kept wholly separate from that culture. Show me one person who can honestly say they’ve never taken or sent a suggestive photo, sext or email that they wouldn’t want splashed across the internet for millions to see, and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t use or understand modern technology.

Yet taking nude photos — or having a car or using a credit card — isn’t the problem here. The problem is the hacking and the stealing, in this case of something immensely private. And it’s not only a problem, it’s a crime. It’s true that posting naked photos of people without their consent is still largely a gray area, legally speaking, which is why so many revenge porn sites have exploded across the internet in recent years. But hacking and stealing photos is definitely a crime; just ask Christopher Chaney, the man currently serving a 10-year sentence for stealing and posting nude images of Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis, among others.

So why are people so quick to point the fingers of blame at the women who are victims of the hack? It’s likely because it’s easy — far easier than blaming a culture that nurtures this kind of misogynist attack — and also because it makes people feel safe. After all, if you’re not the kind of person who would take nude photos then you’re not the kind of person who has to worry about this kind of invasive crime, right? Yet that kind of thinking doesn’t get at the root of the problem (i.e. the hacker and protecting our devices from similar attacks) and it certainly won’t help you when it’s not celebrities who are being targeted and it’s not nude photos that are being stolen. And until people cut out the victim-blaming and focus on the real culprits, we’re all just a little bit more vulnerable.

TIME Television

Lars von Trier Is Headed to Television

The Danish director will be writing and directing a prestige drama series, due to begin filming in 2016

Lars von Trier, the controversial director of Nymphomaniac, Melancholia and Dogville, is heading to television.

The Danish filmmaker is set to write and direct a prestige drama series called The House That Jack Built, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Louise Vesth, a producer who has worked closely with von Trier for years, announced the series at the Venice Film Festival, where the director is showing his cut of Nymphomaniac Vol. 2.

Scant details about the project were revealed, though Vesth did say that filming would likely begin in 2016. The Danish broadcaster DR, which is behind many internationally renowned series such as Borgen and The Killing, also has a hand in the series.

The House That Jack Built will mark von Trier’s first foray into television in more than 20 years, as his last television project, The Kingdom, aired in 1994. That series, which was also originally broadcast on DR, was a creepy, supernatural hospital drama that was eventually remade for the U.S. as the ABC series Kingdom Hospital.

[THR]

TIME movies

Watch Steve Carell in the Creepy New Foxcatcher Trailer

The film, which also stars Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, already has Oscar buzz

+ READ ARTICLE

There’s been a lot of buzz about Channing Tatum’s turn as the Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz in the upcoming Bennett Miller movie Foxcatcher. But the latest trailer teases a down-right chilling performance from Steve Carell.

The film is based on the true story of how millionaire philanthropist John du Pont mentored amateur wrestlers, including Schultz, and eventually was driven to murder his brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo). The latest trailer for the movie, which has already garnered Oscar buzz after it was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in May, focuses on Carell’s du Pont, as he ruminates over the athletes he’s trying to shape — and perhaps manipulate.

“There are some psychological issues that we need to take care of,” says Carell’s character says, in one particularly ominous moment. It’s a role unlike any other that The Office star has taken on before, but if the trailer is any indication, he has the sinister, deranged du Pont nailed.

The film hits theaters on Nov. 14.

TIME movies

Guardians of the Galaxy Is 2014’s Biggest Movie So Far

The Marvel sci-fi flick has brought in more money in U.S. ticket sales than any other film this year

+ READ ARTICLE

All hail, Guardians of the Galaxy! The sci-fi blockbuster was already the hit of the summer and Vulture reports it’s also now the highest-grossing film of 2014 in the U.S.

The film, which opened across the U.S. on Aug. 1 and took in $94,320,883 in its opening weekend, has now raked in around $274,610,000 at the domestic box office alone as of this Labor Day weekend. That leap puts the film ahead of Captain America: The Winter Soldier – which has brought in $259 million at the U.S. box office — to become the highest-grossing movie of the year in the U.S.

The film has also been a hit internationally, taking in more than $273 million. Guardians is also expected to be the first film of 2014 to cross the $300 million mark at the domestic box office.

But 2014 has not been a blockbuster year at the box office. Despite Guardians‘ seemingly successful run, the film is still among the lowest-grossing number one summer films in the U.S. over the past decade, according to Box Office Mojo’s figures. And movie ticket sales are down across the board.

[Vulture]

TIME Music

Beyoncé’s Dad Claims Infamous Elevator Fight Was a PR Stunt

"Charles James: Beyond Fashion" Costume Institute Gala - Candids
Beyonce and Jay-Z attend the "Charles James: Beyond Fashion" Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. Neilson Barnard--Getty Images

After elevator footage leaked showing Jay-Z and Solange fighting while Beyonce stood by, it was all anyone could talk about. Now Mathew Knowles is saying that was the whole point

The celebrity scandal of the year might not have been much of a scandal at all.

Beyoncé and Solange Knowles’ father, Mathew Knowles, told a Houston radio talk show earlier this week that Elevator-Gate may have all been an elaborate show.

After video footage of Solange attacking her brother-in-law Jay Z in a elevator at the Standard Hotel was leaked earlier this year, everyone feared the worst. The clip, which was reportedly filmed after Solange, Jay and Beyoncé had left the Met Gala after-party, stoked speculation that Jay had cheated on Bey and that their marriage was on the rocks. The rumors are still circulating, months later, even amidst the couple’s joint On The Run tour that began in late June.

But that could have been the point, according to Bey’s dad and former manager. “[They needed something to] ignite that tour,” Knowles said. “It’s called a ‘Jedi mind trick.’ The Jedi mind trick fools you a lot of the time.”

Why would his daughters and son-in-law pull such a stunt? “All I know is: everyone is talking about it. Ticket sales went up, Solange’s album sales went up 200%,” Knowles said.

Of course, it should be noted that Beyoncé and her father don’t appear to be particularly close these days. She fired him as her manager in 2011, not long after her mother, Tina Knowles, filed divorce papers citing Mathew’s extramarital affair. It’s certainly likely that he is just as clueless about the motivating factor of the clash as anyone else.

As for the three main parties — that is Bey, Jay and Solange — they’ve remained relatively mum on the subject. Shortly after the footage leaked, the trio issued a statement calling the fight an “unfortunate incident” and a “private matter.”

[Billboard]

TIME celebrities

Here’s the French Château Where Brad and Angelina Wed

The Chateau Miraval, a vineyard estate owned by US actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Le Val, southeastern France on May 31, 2008.
The Château Miraval, a vineyard estate owned by U.S. actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Le Val, southeastern France, on May 31, 2008 Michel Gangne—AFP/Getty Images

Ooh la la

Brangelina have made it official. The couple married in a small, private ceremony last weekend, it emerged on Thursday, surrounded by family and friends.

But after years in the limelight as one of the world’s most-watched couples, it was obvious that not just any wedding venue would work. So the couple chose to get married close to home. Or, at least, close to one of their homes.

The Associated Press reports that Pitt and Jolie tied the knot in the south of France, at the Château Miraval, a wine château not far from Aix-en-Provence. Back in 2008, the couple moved their family into the château and apparently haven’t looked back, spending their summers nestled in the 1000-acre estate.

Back in the 1970s, the sprawling estate was home to the jazz pianist and composer Jacques Loussier, who built a recording studio on its grounds. Since then, Pink Floyd, Sting, Sade and the Cranberries have all recorded music there. And it seems that the Pitt-Jolies have carried on the tradition. According to the Château Miraval’s website, the couple “have given impetus to the heart of the estate as a place dedicated to the arts — music, cinema, theater, local food and fine wine.”

Even those who don’t frequently read gossip pages might recognize the Château Miraval name: it’s also home to Brangelina’s wine, the Côtes de Provence Rosé Miraval, which won plaudits last year from Wine Spectator magazine.

TIME Television

The Real Problem With Sex Box Is That It’s Boring

WE tv

People are already getting worked up over WE tv's upcoming reality show Sex Box, where couples copulate on-air and then chat about it

WE tv caused a stir on Thursday when the cable channel — a subsidiary of AMC — announced that they had ordered a reality series called Sex Box to air in 2015.

Based on the U.K. series of the same name and produced by Relativity Television, Sex Box is billed as an “extreme therapy reality concept” where couples appear on television to discuss their relationship, before they head off to a camera-free, soundproof box where they — you guessed it — have sex. The couples then come out and, as per WE tv’s announcement, talk about their “experiences in the box and most intimate personal issues” with a panel of experts. Also, in front of a studio audience. Also, in front of everyone watching at home.

The idea behind the show is ostensibly that couples are more trusting and open post-coitus; therefore, they’re more able to communicate and work out their issues. In addition to the love hormones supposedly coursing through their bodies, a team of experts will be on hand to help — celebrity relationship psychotherapist Dr. Fran Walfish, clinical therapist and nationally certified sex therapist Dr. Chris Donaghue and Pastor Dr. Yvonne Capehart. But with its over-the-top premise and insistence that the sex take place in-studio, it’s really not surprising that the show has already been branded a “low point for reality television.

Yet if the show’s British godfather is any indication, Sex Box won’t be titillating or smutty or something to watch as a guilty pleasure. It’ll be boring.

While the logic might follow that couples are more open after they’ve had sex, it’s typically with one another — not so much with a host of strangers and millions of viewers. In the U.K. version of Sex Box, the couples — while all nice, chatty people — weren’t so overtaken by sex endorphins that they actually revealed anything vivid or shocking. It was all pretty tame, polite, slightly awkward at times and, overall, just dull. Not even the show’s panel could spice things up — and the U.K. version had Dan Savage as one of its experts.

So for all the voyeurs out there who are hoping to catch a glimpse of something risqué — or the pearl-clutchers looking for something to be outraged over — Sex Box probably isn’t for you. Who it is for, exactly, is anyone’s guess.

 

TIME

Why Your Fear of Looking Stupid Is Making You Look Stupid

New research indicates that we're all scared of asking for help and looking dumb. But we shouldn't be -- people find you more competent if you come to them for advice

Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to ask someone’s advice, but were worried you would look incompetent? Well, in the words of RuPaul, “Your fear of looking stupid is making you look stupid.”

In fact, a new report released this week by researchers from Harvard Business School and Wharton School suggests that RuPaul is on to something, (though, obviously, the researchers phrased it in a slightly more delicate fashion). The research, which will be published in an upcoming issue of Management Science, found that though many people are afraid to ask for advice — and risk looking incompetent — they’ve actually got it backwards. People who seek advice are likely to be thought of as more competent, at least by the people they’re asking.

The researchers came to that conclusion by conducting a series of studies. In the first, researchers tried to determine whether people are actually afraid of looking incompetent by telling participants to imagine that they needed advice from a co-worker. Some were then told that their hypothetical selves would actually seek advice and others were told they would not. Participants were then asked to rate how competent they thought their hypothetical co-worker found them. Turns out, the people who hypothetically asked for help felt that they would be viewed as less competent than those who didn’t.

Which is understandable, to an extent. Though the old adage says “there are no stupid questions,” anyone who has spent time on the snark-riddled internet knows that that’s not actually the case. Sometimes it feels wiser to shut up and muddle through, than risk looking like a complete fool.

Yet that’s where the new reasearch gets interesting. In the next study, researchers paired participants with an unseen partner that they could only communicate with over instant message. (Their partners did not actually exist; the messages sent were programmed by the researchers.) The participants were then asked to do a brain teaser, before handing the task off to their partner. Once they’d finished the task, they received a message from their “partner” that either read, “I hope it went well. Do you have any advice?” or “I hope it went well.” Later, when asked by the researchers, people rated the partners who asked for advice as being more competent than those who had simply wished them well. What’s more, the harder the brain teaser, the more competent the advice-seeking “partners” were rated.

Even more interesting, is that when the researchers asked participants to rate their own self-confidence after completing a task, the ones who had been asked for advice felt better about themselves than the ones who had not been asked.

The researchers concluded that people’s egos are boosted when they’re consulted and asked to dole out advice, which in turn leads them to think more highly of the people who’ve just boosted their egos.

Essentially, people are so flattered to be asked for advice that their heads swell a little and they think of themselves as smart; that reflects well on the advice-seeker who is in turn believed to be smart enough to recognize their game. So take our advice: the next time you’re itching to ask for help, do it.

TIME Television

BBC’s TV Chief Wants To See a Female Lead on Doctor Who

Doctor Who
Eleventh Doctor - Matt Smith
BBC/AP

The new season of "Doctor Who" is about to premiere, but many are wondering when a woman will be stepping into the role of the Time Lord.

After more than 30 season with a male lead on Doctor Who, many have said it’s time for a woman to take a turn as the Time Lord, including Helen Mirren. Now adding his voice to the chorus is BBC’s director of television, Danny Cohen.

Speaking at the annual Edinburgh TV Festival on Aug. 21, Cohen was asked whether he thought there would be a woman Doctor Who. His response? “I hope so,” though he also added that he wasn’t sure when that would happen.

The latest season of the sci-fi show is about to debut on Aug. 23, with actor Peter Capaldi in the role of the eponymous character. (Matt Smith played the Doctor in the previous season.) Capaldi, who is best known for his role in The Thick of It, was cast as the new lead in 2013 and appeared in last year’s Christmas special The Time of the Doctor.

Back in May, Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat said during a Q&A at the Hay Festival that if a woman did take on the role it wouldn’t be due to “political correctness.”

“It will not happen that somebody sits down and says we must turn the Doctor into a woman,” he said. “That is not how you cast the Doctor. A person will pop into the showrunner’s head and they’ll think. ‘Oh, my God, what if it was that person?’ And when that person is a woman, that’s the day it will happen.”

[THR]

TIME Opinion

Matthew Weiner Is Wrong. The Gender Wage Gap Is Real, Even In Hollywood

Matthew Weiner
Matthew Weiner Mike Pont—FilmMagic/Getty Images

In some ways, we're still living in a Mad Men world

In a recent interview, Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner delved into a sensitive subject about the way women are treated on the job. No, he wasn’t talking about the women who work at Sterling Cooper circa 1969. He was talking about his fellow showrunners circa 2014, who don’t earn the same amount of money that he does.

“I don’t think that’s a gender issue,” Weiner said in a recent interview with HuffPost Live. “Jenji’s entitled to every dollar but you have to fight for it, male or female. No one gives you anything.”

The Jenji he was referring to is Jenji Kohan, the showrunner of Orange is the New Black, who recently spoke out about the gender wage gap in television to The Hollywood Reporter. From the THR‘s story:

“I don’t think I’m getting paid as much as the men in my position, still,” [Kohan] says, “and it’s extremely frustrating.”

Gender inequality has been a thorn in Kohan’s side since she was a young girl and her novelist mother told her that men were “funnier” and “better at this.” That Kohan’s own studio, Lionsgate, is paying Weiner a reported $30 million for Mad Men‘s final three seasons adds another layer of complexity. “It’s hard when one of your best friends is Matt,” she says, then carefully adds: “I don’t begrudge him for one second; it’s more of just, ‘Why am I not making that?'” (Lionsgate declined comment.)

It’s apparent from her comments that Kohan isn’t pulling in the same amount of money as Weiner, but is the Mad Men producer correct in his belief that gender had nothing to do with it? Considering that across the board full-time working women earn 77 percent of what their male counterparts make, is it really possible that this trend isn’t the case in showbiz? Sadly, no. While there aren’t hard, public figures for many of the people who work in the film and television industries, there is enough information out there that gives a strong indication that a discrepancy does, in fact, exist.

Weiner suggests in the HuffPo interview that if only Kohan was fighting for a higher salary — like he has throughout his career — than she’d be getting a bigger pay-check. But that logic falls flat when you consider the fact that Kohan likely has fought throughout her career, in ways that Weiner might not be able to imagine, to just get her foot in the door at all.

Kohan is repeatedly ranked among the best showrunners working right now, but she’s also one of a handful of women working in the field. Take a look at THR‘s list of the top 50 TV writer/producers of 2013: it features a total of 14 women on it, and many of them work as part of a team with a man. (Weiner and Kohan were both named.) If you’re part of a vast minority working in a hugely competitive industry, it’s likely that you already had to work pretty damn hard to be there. To suggest otherwise smacks of unacknowledged male privilege. What’s more, women who work in other male-dominated fields don’t make as much as the men they work with; to assume it’s different in the television and film industry seems absurd.

Just look to other areas of show business for a clearer idea. Women behind the camera in the film industry are also a tiny minority. According to San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film’s annual Celluloid Ceiling survey, women accounted for only 16 percent of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors working on the 250 top-grossing films last year. That 16 percent is part of a pretty consistent trend in Hollywood. (The Celluloid Ceiling survey has been conducted every year since 1997.)

While many of the women in that tiny minority have worked on some pretty impressive films, it still hasn’t landed them in the realm of top-salaries. A Vanity Fair breakdown of Hollywood’s top-earners in 2011 looked at the incomes of actors, directors, producers and writers to see who landed in the top 50. Only six women in total made the list, and they were all actresses. The group didn’t include a single woman director or producer or writer.

Yet even where women do seem to be pulling in top, competitive salaries — namely, in front of the camera — they still aren’t earning as much as their male co-stars. Take this year’s Forbes list for the top 10 highest-earning actors and actresses. Collectively, the top 10 highest paid men made a whopping $419 million last year. Meanwhile, the top 10 highest paid women earned $226 million — just 54 percent of what Hollywood’s actors were pulling in. For as much buzz as Jennifer Lawrence gets — with an Oscar win, a devoted fan-base and a beloved franchise under her belt — she still made $12 million less in 2013 than her American Hustle co-star, Bradley Cooper. True, these women aren’t facing any financial hardships despite the gap, but what about the women in the lesser-paid areas of the industry?

When you have a minority of women working in the industry’s top positions — and they are saying and sometimes proving that they’re earning less — than, yes, it is a gender issue. Of course, as Weiner himself points out in his interview, showrunners’ salaries aren’t typically made public. Which is too bad. If the hard numbers were out there for everyone to see, perhaps the gender wage gap — and Jenji Kohan — wouldn’t be so easy to dismiss.

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