The fashion industry version of the “Shitty Media Men” list — The Blacklist — has been taken down just a week after it was posted. The Instagram account @ShitModelMgmt, an anonymously run account, published the list naming photographers, stylists and agents who’ve allegedly “acted sexually inappropriate” toward models and other fashion industry people.
The publisher of the list says she had to remove the post because of messages threatening legal action and threats to her family’s safety and her own safety. While she’s anonymous, she’s worried it would be possible for people to track down her identity. The publisher spoke to The Cut about removing the post.
“It’s just sad because this is what happens when people speak up about abuse,” she said. “I feel like things will never change because every time people try to speak up, they get threatened. Now, I’ve experienced it firsthand how angry people can be. Clearly, they’re scared, too.”
Some people are coming forward saying their names are on the list wrongly. One model scout, Lanny Zenga, told The Cut via email that his name shouldn’t be on the list and that he found himself on the list with someone who had abused him. The list’s publisher kept adding names to the list, taking down “five to ten” names for various reasons.
The Fashion Law explored the legality of the list’s existence, citing the existence of Section 230 of the U.S. Code aka the Communication Decency Act of 1996 as “protecting bloggers when they publish information sent by a third-party.” However, because the list could be considered to be defamatory, this might make its creator liable.
A perhaps better, safer alternative to dealing with these claims is in the hands of The Model Alliance, who are proposing a “neutral, nonprofit arbitrating entity that will guarantee accountability.”
“Such a program will have two main purposes: to formulate and implement a code of conduct; and to join participating businesses and industry groups that make a commitment to upholding these best practices, with a neutral, non-profit arbitrating entity that will guarantee accountability,” their proposal reads. “There has never been a better time to make clear that sexual harassment and sexual disrespect have no part in fashion, entertainment, and media.