Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence and 100 other Hollywood women celebs have been engulfed in a nude photo leak scandal. Only, the headline writers got it wrong – it is not a scandal. It is a crime.
Just because the victims here are actors, singers and others who are in the public arena does not make the act of the unknown hacker any less criminal or repulsive.
However, if you take to social media and listen to its shrill and opinionated masses, it is all their fault – they are women, they are celebs and they take nude pictures.
Twitter is full of comments about what need Lawrence, and others, had of nude photos. Lawrence’s morals are in question and light has also been shed on how ‘loose’ women in the show business are. Don’t they know anyone can hack the filmsily-protected iCloud? They know what they were in for, surely?
These righteous upholders of our morality will be in for a rude shock if they asked around how many of us had taken a provocative image or sent a sext? We did it in the privacy of our homes and on a medium we thought was safe. It was a conversation between lovers, we had no idea a hacker was hiding under the bed.
Only, as Mary Elizabeth Winstead, another actor besieged by the ‘scandal’ said in her tweets, it is not safe. “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. Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this. Feeling for everyone who got hacked."
Hollywood celebs are used to living under the glare and unstinted surveillance. Unforgiving media and public watches every step they take and damning criticism is the result of one mistake. For them, every shred of privacy is precious; it should be, given the fact even their phones can be turned against them.
This case is a new low, even worse than the advent of paparazzi which blurred the line between public and personal. Princess Diana was probably the first victim of this hunger for a scoop. Britain’s News of The World, which was closed down because the journalists working there hacked into the phones of politicians, celebrities and unwitting people caught up in the news, brought that kind of unethical means to people like you and me.
The result of that case was filing of criminal charges against senior people working in the paper who either hacked the phones or were part of the conspiracy.
Similar steps need to be taken in this hacking case. And not just against the hacker but every person who is clicking on those images. You are not just looking for harmless fun, neither checking out what the brouhaha is all about. You are abusing their private moments and their bodies, and that’s a crime.