Feyisayo Anjorin

Freelance Director, Afro-Carribean Media Group


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Of celebrities and wardrobe malfunctions: should the photographer have deleted the picture as a categorical imperative?

Does the public have the 'right' to see TV close-ups of relatives grieving over grisly photos of murder scenes? Or terrorists beheading hostages? And does the public always have the 'right to know'?
Decades ago, the tabloid ('yellow') press was where one would find salacious content; but now there is an increasing interest in private and intimate issues of celebrities.

Recently Anne Hathaway, was photographed exiting her car at the premiere of a new film, Les Miserables. There was a picture where her private part was seen.
Shouldn't we be bothered that our society has declined to one that wants to see the nakedness or naked pictures of celebrities?
Now, when things of this sort happens we are bound to jump into hasty conclusions and criticize. But we all make mistakes; and sometimes little seems like a lot.
Obsession with scandals and dirty details is an attitude of a section of the society.
In the Anne Hathaway case, do you think the photographer should have deleted the pictures?
Is the Kantian approach applicable?

  • Dec 19 2012: A celebrity (an occupation in which publicity is required for a good career) chooses to wear no underwear to an event where her every moment will be photographed.

    A photograph of her is widely circulated because it displays her crotch, thus providing her with publicity.

    I do not see this as an accident.
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    Dec 18 2012: Do you think Anne has been unofficially been unconsciously chosen as Audrey's heir? to fill the spot that Audrey left? Honestly Les Mis never rated as a must see for me but the actors gave it their all and it is great to see Anne in something that is breaking the mold like how Charlize theron did when she went after those rolls that most would not try.

    Yes unfortunately young women need to have a Chauffeur stand in the way of the papafilthy if they want to wear what they want to wear if they are of public interest.

    Grieving families of tragic events? Really? I would probably pull a gun on them and order them to surrender their camera's, that's how nutty my people are when it comes to such personal tragic events and how personal they are to us, we are at our most dangerous when we are grieving.
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    Jan 18 2013: Hi Feyisayo, it's been a while!

    I doubt that a purely Kantian approach can be taken. Humans are humans, and it is in our animal that many of our most engrained behaviors are based.

    Gossip is older than civilization. Sexual drive is older than most species alive in this planet. And decision making is seldom a rational process, but rather a loosely guided bounce between emotional responses and drives.

    It is no surprise that pornography is such a profitable business. It is no surprise either than magazines and tv shows that specialize in gossip have huge audiences.

    Celebrities and the media have the love hate relationship in which they implicitly use each other to benefit, while acknowledging that it is not a mutually beneficial symbiosis.

    If people were taught since their infancy that their sexual drives are normal and that instead of hiding them behind morality they should learn ways to manage them responsibly, and if people were taught that it is ok to be curious about your neighbor but that at some time there is a direct conflict between this curiosity and respect for each other

    But i am not going to hold my breath. Just as i suspect that those traits are engrained in our DNA, and hence they cannot be removed by culture, i think that our moral counterpart does, too, have certain origin in our DNA and will not go away anytime soon.

    Culture can change lots of things, but not DNA... yet...

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    Dec 21 2012: The photographer was ensuring that he and his family has an over-indulgent, money-no-object Christmas by not deleting that photo.

    Money overrides everything, including morals, ethics, right to privacy etc...

    But Krisztian does have a point - Ms Hathaway did choose to wear what she did, knowing full well that she had to climb indelicately out of a taxi in front of photographers.

    So who's to blame? Both I think. The relationship may be an immoral one, but it is still mutually beneficial.
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      Dec 21 2012: Are you sure that it was mutually benefitial? There is no evidence to support the fact that Mrs Hathaway intends to reveal what was revealed. Women wear skirts and such mistakes are possible.
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        Dec 21 2012: No, I'm not sure - but if the celebrity/papparazzi relationship was NOT mutually beneficial, then Ms Hathaway would have ensured that she would have worn getting-out-of-car-friendly clothes and then got changed afterwards.

        She must know by now that photographers poke their lenses in everywhere where celebrities are known to display their wares. She gave them what they wanted to see, so seems to me to be just as complicit as the photographer.
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    Dec 18 2012: Follow the money, sir, follow the money.
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    Dec 18 2012: Thanks to you I now now who Anne Hathaway is, and thanks to the Internet, I have seen her naked... Now what?

    She does not seem to be prudish in some of the scenes she made in her movies and did show her 'private parts' within the working contract she agreed too, so what is 'unethical' in publishing an 'accidental' exposure especially in a business, where 'unintentional' flashing is no surprise anymore and intentional to arouse attention? In this world of glamor and looks, it is hard to tell, what really was an 'accident' and what wasn't.

    For Mother Theresa I would agree with you and the categorical imperative for such pictures, as 'nakedness' in this context is out of place and non of the public business.

    Public main stream media and some part of society just still behave like 6 year olds if it comes to nudity. It is all exiting and thrilling, probably because their average imagination is not capable to fill those 'gaps', so they have to have real footage. Unethical? Well, if you see nakedness as such, you may get to this conclusion.

    To me, humans are sexual beings and as such we are naturally 'programmed' to react on sexual key stimuli - may they have been shown intentionally or unintentionally - does not matter.

    Most likely we have all seen unintentional 'exposure' of private body parts and if this exposure stays unnoticed we usually make this person aware of it to recover their privacy. Does those situations bypass our 'sexual evaluation process'? Of course not, as our neurons do give signals of what 'they' have just discovered. And is this 'unethical'? To me it is not, as long as my attitude does not reduce itself to an inappropriate sexual craving. This is a matter of manner only, and is usually shown among the majority of the people.

    If you ask if the 'public have the 'right' to see' something you should be able to answer who has the 'right' to keep it from the public and why, The categorical imperative could be reason - its application isn't ...
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      Dec 18 2012: But when it comes to 'responding to sexual stimuli', why is it that it is women who are usually thus objectified?
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        Dec 18 2012: Because men are that simple!

        For some reason nature decided to give 'us' this low filtered, hard wired 'ball to ball' connection on which the eye balls are located on its upper end ...

        And this is no excuse, it is just what I noticed by myself and what I see with my 'fellow' gender.

        If you look closely, you may find, that woman found out about our simplicity a very long time ago and probably way before man did for themselves.

        Why do you think many woman are wearing uncomfortable and impractical cloth most of the time? What was the reason for the invention of the cleavage? High heels? Cosmetics? Hair dye? Fake nails?

        There is a constant 'battle' going on in societies, the battle of 'key stimuli' in between genders, in commercials, lifestyle products, and so forth ...

        And because most 'modern' societies decided to hide the natural nakedness, it therefore became the constant riddle, desire to find out more about it, especially on people who we find personal attractive. This consciousness of the human body is actually distorted, as it imposed the sense of shame on something truly natural. This also induced a lot of confusion and false interpretation of nakedness, by which in parts it became somewhat 'dirty' or 'naughty' yet even more desirable due to its 'forbiddenness' and its faint smell of frivolity.

        The key stimuli for men of a bare naked female breast in 'modern' societies is significantly higher as it is among men in native tribes, in which woman do not cover them. Scarcity in 'real life experience' is multiplicative in this context, and this is why commercials are using 'sex to sell'. I have never seen lightly dressed woman gathering around my car ... hmm, well, probably because I am not driving the right 'key stimuli' ... :o)
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          Dec 18 2012: I laughed my head off about the car, great point. I was shown a pair of raybans by a friend who sat there with his voice lowered as he told me how rare this particular piece of plastic was and i thought "Maybe we need to start building great stone structures again" or complete what the builders at Baalbek started.

          After he showed me his pride and joy i realized that just about every young person was wearing a style of glasses similar to his raybans, all i could think was Miami Vice was the last time i actively looked at raybans. This person wants something that can't be bought, he asked me about it but he doesn't realize that it is only natural for my people to gift it to each other but it takes a lot longer for us to gift it outside of our own because it is only gifted to a person who wants and accepts the culture with all it's failures and the few positives. It doesn't mean become a part of us and you will get one but show a genuine interest and you will find one. Why i state this in this day and age of the replicators? Believe me, you can go and get one anytime from any tourist shop but if you show it to one of us and tell of it's acquirement then you will see something rarely seen amongst us, telling someone that it is worth nothing.
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    Dec 18 2012: it was in public. the photographer used his own camera. he does whatever he goddam pleases with it. ms hathaway should have known better.
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      Dec 18 2012: It is not just about taking the picture. Why was that particular picture chosen for the press out of the numerous that must have been taken? Could this have been an 'innocent' choice?
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        Dec 18 2012: why would i care about the choosing process. people want to watch that stuff. no law was broken, they didn't break into her house, didn't do the picture from a satellite on her own property. if ms hathaway decided to show her certain body parts in public, it is her decision/mistake. i personally don't care if it is published, and i see no moral implications about it. of course you can hate the photographer/newspaper for it, it is your decision. i would not want such people in my circles, but that is my problem. on the other hand, i'm happy to google ms hathaway's past and future performances.
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    Dec 18 2012: no
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      Dec 18 2012: Casey, There are certain questions a simple 'no' does not answer.
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        Dec 18 2012: I dont beleive in censorship
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          Dec 18 2012: Neither do I.
          I believe in Ubuntu; some changes can not be enforced by law. But they are needed when they are needed.
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        Dec 18 2012: Right like the idea of swearing. I was a kid and have been around kids. I know swear words why not teach them about them let them make the choice to use the words or not. Also remember God made us naked so a nipple slip should not be a problem. Its the fall of man that clothed him in ignorance, while trying to seek knowledge