Anger as NZ radio stations publish J-Law photos

Last updated 15:50 02/09/2014
Jennifer Lawrence
Reuters
'PROMOTING RAPE CULTURE': New Zealanders have voiced their anger at The Edge radio station for publishing naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence on its website.

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New Zealanders are voicing their anger at radio stations for publishing naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence on its website, saying it promoted "rape culture".

The Hollywood actress was among several female celebrities to have explicit images of themselves hacked from their computers and phones and uploaded onto the website 4chan.

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The Edge published the photos of Lawrence, but later took them down and supplied a link to them on another website. That link was also taken down later.  

A spokeswoman for The Edge apologised for the mistake but pointed out that other New Zealand websites had done exactly the same thing before them.

"We made a mistake yesterday by following what many other NZ and overseas websites had done and posting the photos of Jennifer Lawrence. 

"We are reviewing our pre-vet systems to avoid any similar mistakes in the future.  

"We unreservedly apologise for posting the photos and confirm they were removed from our site on Monday morning as soon as we became aware of the mistake we had made."

The Rock radio station still has links to the pictures available on its website after earlier posting the images.
Radio Hauraki and ZM also reportedly had the images, or links to them, on their websites but they have since been removed.

The Radio Network, which owns ZM and Hauraki, has been asked for comment but so far has not provided it.

"This is a flagrant violation of privacy," Lawrence's publicist Liz Mahoney said. "The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence."

Australian socialite Gabi Grecko, who is one of the celebrities caught in the hack, has called it a "sex crime".

"I think it's extremely violating. If I want to post nudes or anything like that it should be because I consented," Grecko said.

"Anything took privately on my phone that I didn't realise, I obviously had my reasoning and it's just scary this person has gathered all of these images without consent because some things are just private."

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Sexual Abuse Prevention network cordinator Fiona McNamara said all of the stations had shown complete disregard for consent, for women's bodies and it had contributed to the wider issue of rape culture in New Zealand.

"Our understanding is that these images were taken by the women themselves on their own cellphones," McNamara said.

"There is nothing illegal or morally wrong about doing that - in fact a large proportion of adults take photos like that.

"What actually needs to be addressed here is that those images were stolen and distributed without the women's consent."

"Rape culture" referred to the beliefs, attitudes and cultures that normalised and trivialised sexual abuse, she said.

"Sharing nude photos of women without their consent undermines a woman's ownership of her body as if it is a commodity that exists for the pleasure of the general public," McNamara said.

In a blog post, Jessie Hume likened the posting of the images to that of the actions of the Roast Busters in Auckland last year.

The Roast Busters were a group of Auckland youths, understood to be aged 17 and 18, who allegedly had group sex with drunk teenage girls and bragged about it online.

"It was absolutely disgusting to see this on The Edge website in the wake of the Roast Busters incident which specifically involved without-consent publishing of media in order to 'expose' women," Hume said.

"If mainstream media outlets fail to have a basic comprehension of what consent is, how are the public supposed to understand?

"Celebrity or not, every woman has the right to be protected from without-consent publishing of naked photos or similar."

Hume said in another post The Rock also had the links up and criticised evening DJs Jono Pryor and Ben Boyce for posing like "exposed celebrities". 

"I know they are not condoning rape. They are, however, knowingly condoning this kind of without-consent behaviour toward women, specifically, posting photos of women online without permission."

The Edge's Facebook page was inundated with mainly negative feedback about the post.

Leanne Jamieson wrote that she was disgusted by what the station had done.

"[I've] been listening to you guys for 10 years and this is a new low. I beg all decent people out there to not look at these images."

William Stewart wrote: "Really disgusted at The Edge for advertising and encouraging the proliferation of these photos. Shame on you for using stolen material to generate likes and traffic."

- Stuff

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