Stooping To New Lows

I'm overwhelmed by how upset I am by the release of photos taken by the police of Rihanna when they arrested Chris Brown for allegedly assaulting her.  (The page I link to is merely New York Magazine reporting the news, not the photo itself. I see no need to perpetuate the publicity of the image).  TMZ, the notoriously trashy celebrity news agency (owned by AOL), released the image today - it shows a young woman obviously upset, scared, and recently crying, bruised and injured.  The fact that this was leaked by someone and published by TMZ depresses and angers me beyond belief.  It violates her privacy, it jeopardizes a potential case against her abuser, and it is simply unethical.  In addition, it will have the effect of scaring off yet more victims of domestic violence from reporting their abuse.  If people don't feel they can trust the police - and plenty of people already don't, for good reason - they will be less and less inclined to report abuse and seek help.  The person who leaked the photo, and everyone at TMZ, should be ashamed of themselves.  And those of us who visit celebrity gossip sites like TMZ should think long and hard about our role as consumers of this trash.

Update from Feministe: "It’s bad enough that her name was released, when it should not have been. This woman was clearly attacked, in what is very strongly believed to be an intimate partner violence incident. She is dealing with more than enough, and more than she or any other woman should ever have to deal with. Every woman deserves some sense of privacy in a situation like this, no matter how famous she is. Every woman in this situation deserves our support. And every woman in this situation should get to decide for herself how public she wants to be about it, and whether or not she is portrayed in this way. Not you. Not me. Not some stupid entertainment website that clearly just wants to make a profit. Just her. Her, and only her."

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