Queerty is better as a member
Err, apparently this himbo doesn’t realize that the whole A&F look about sex.
And he’d be doing Sean Cody by 2013
Lol, yeah were are the friggin pictures at???
If you are actually this STUPID to take off your clothes, jerk off to “set the mood” for a photograph, you should sue yourself for being this big of a moron. This guy couldn’t be dumber if he tried.
You could say it was pressure because the photog was technically a superior employee at A&F or that he held the guys job in his power.
However, I’m just curious that somebody wouldn’t think something shady was going on when…oh I don’t know…the photographer asked him to jerk off in front of him.
Queerty wrote, “Bowers is suing Hilburn and A+ F for $1 million. We’re not really sure what grounds he has to sue, though—he was over 18 when the photo shoot took place, there was seemingly no threats involved, and he waited a year to say anything.”
Aside from whether Bowers’ claim is valid or not, the grounds he has to sue comes under the general category of “sexual harassment.” http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-sex.cfm and http://www3.uakron.edu/lawrev/robert1.html
Hustling little gold digger. He knew exactly what he was doing. I’m sure there was a falling out of somekind, so now he’s trying to sue. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up selling his stuff on Santa Monica
I’m not sure if we’re really being fair here. A lot of people are talking about how dumb he is and stuff. But from what it looks like, the modeling world is highly competitive. So of course he’s going to do whatever it takes to stay on the shot. Sure, he should have thought about this before he stripped or he shouldn’t have waited so long, but I don’t think he was necessarily dumb. I think he was just trying to do what he thought would help him keep the job.
@B: Good point. There is always a power inequity in asituation like this,and at the very least, given the photographer’s subsequent sexual behaviour,this is clearly sexual harrassment. If he had kept his own in his pants,he might perhaps, have somehow argued that it was the only way to create the mood.
So, ok geniuses… it’s alright then for a professional photographer to coerce an 18 year old model to jerk off on a non-porn “shoot”. Glad to see that such professional ethics apply in gay-world. If a photog did this to a woman -of any age- he’d be crucified. But, since he’s a guy, and 18, go for it…. and of course, the boy is the “slut”.
Possibly he may have a claim of undue influence. I’m not an attorney so don’t jump on me. I think it’s disingenuous to jump on this poor kid when he probably did fall victim to an unscrupulous photographer and, possibly, the A & F casting director that guided this fiasco. He was working at the A & F store, NOT Santa Monica Boulevard, for Christ’s sake! I think that the hustlers here were the queens that set him up. He probably felt intimidated during the shoot and maybe did feel that he would have that ‘relaxed look’–how was he to know that all A & F models didn’t do that? They quite possibly may have. He may have been told that. Time will tell. This article certainly doesn’t speak well of the A & F branding by their casting director.
Agreed with Jay. There is no reason to judge Bowers from this alone. Perhaps he didn’t say anything for a year because he’s been throughoutly ashamed by the whole experience. This isn’t the first photographer I hear of that takes advantage of models. My friend says his photographer used to grope on my friend’s underwear a lot and be extremely complimentful towards his lower body and ass area, as innocent as that sounds.
@R: Thanks for agreeing with me. I just find it rude when people judge people off of one mistake they made. Let’s say that everyone was based off of a mistake they made in their lifetime. I sent nude pics to my ex, so does that mean I’m a slut? No, that was just me trying to make my man happy. Just like how this guy was trying to make the photographer happy, although I think he should have thought more about what he was doing. What really gets me is the biasness of the article. When they write,”Models get a bad rep for being dumb—we’ve met some who were quite smart. Benjamine Bowers doesn’t appear to be one of them” I find that really rude. I get the impression that this guy would have been a straight A or B maybe C student. So judging how ‘smart’ he is because of one accident, to me personally, is rude and totally uncalled for.
Is anyone else envisioning a “fame” moment, where this guy is crying as he pulls out his peen and jerks??
Bowers can claim sexual harassment if he feared his flight back home was in jeopardy if he didn’t comply. Otherwise, this could be just a bad decision on the part of both parties.
Hilburn could have SUGGESTED that Bowers jerk off to give a relaxed look. As a model myself, I can admit that I’ve been to shoots where I have been asked to do the same as Bowers claims. Was I uncomfortable in being asked? Yes, and I’m an exhibitionist who actually has a gay porn past (just google “Tre Xavier”). Did the photographer play a part by suggesting it? Most certainly. HOWEVER, as an adult, I take FULL responsibility for the fact that I went through with it. Same should go for Bowers.
The problem is we live in a time where everyone wants to pass the buck on their responsibility in a bad situation, and a court system that allows that passing of the buck.
So I have to say that I agree with the author’s suggestion, in saying that Bowers should chalk this up to being a life lesson, and move on.
Whatever we think of the brain of the model. The photographer needs to be fired and investigated.
So the photographer asks him to masturbate, he does, now he’s suing? Un-friggin-believable. To the commentors who think that this would not be tolerated if Bowers was female. Two words: Terry Richardson. This dude had a choice and he chose to jerk off. Like so many people in this country, this dude is looking to make cash the good old fashion way but suing the crap out of an organization for a huge financial settlement.
@Rockin Dad: Um, anyone, male or female, who MASTURBATES for a photographer is a friggen idiot. Yeah, the photographer is a creep, but anyone in their right mind who isn’t interested in doing porn is a moron for complying to a request like that.
If the photographer had asked him to light himself on fire, would he have done that, too?
If someone asks you to do something you’re uncomfortable with, you just say no.
@Cam: Agree totally Cam.
@Erik: Not at all. I modelled when I was younger. You go all the way to the shoot at your own expense, and even your expenses are only paid upon full compliance with the photographer, and upon completion of the shoot, let alone your modelling fee. I don’t know about this guy, but I would never have modelled if I had had the money for other choices.
And then the photographer asks you to do more than you agreed to, and you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. You’re in the middle of a shoot. You’re already broke. You’ve spent a day and cash you can’t afford getting to the shoot, and now you’re in a position where you just have to go a little bit outside your comfort zone to get paid and get home so that you’re not actually out of pocket.
And much as you cynics might not believe it, many models, including me, were very naive the first few times, and they just do whatever the photographer tells them to do because you assume that it’s the way the business works, and the guy has an air of authority.
I know people will say “Well, he could have just said no” but it really isn’t as black and white as that.
To all the people saying the Model is at fault because he jerked off.
Remember, how many people have sued because they were pressured into sleeping with their bosses? Whether or not their decision was bad, the fact still is that they were in an unbalanced authority situation.
@KyleW: so let’s see… you don’t get paid unless you perform a sexual act?
you know, that does sound remarkably like prostitution.
I realize it’s always tempting to hate pretty people, but really, Queerty, you sound dumber than you allege the model to be. He has claims for fraud, constructive fraud, sexual harassment, negligent failure to maintain a harassment-free workplace, negligent supervision, and, if he ever made complaints to A&F about this prior to some adverse action, retaliation. I expect he will profit from this gross little encounter if he has decent counsel.
Actually it’s worse, as Brian Hilburn was not the photographer on the shoot but a modeling agent that an A&F casting director referred Bowers to, according to recent NY Daily News and Huffington Post accounts. I don’t know how much over 18 Bowers was at the time (last June), but I can see where his apparent immaturity, misplaced trust in the older man acting as his agent, and fear of losing not just that particular gig but others if he didn’t comply could have led him to do something he might not really have wanted to do. As some others here have indicated, this kind of sleaziness is just a variation of the casting couch and is probably much more common than most of us have been aware.
And don’t be so cynical, people. Not every lawsuit is someone hustling for an easy payday–though that’s no doubt precisely the way people in positions of power with predatory instincts would like us all to view it.
@MikeE: “so let’s see… you don’t get paid unless you perform a sexual act? you know, that does sound remarkably like prostitution.”
Proving what? We are all prostitutes of one sort or another. We sell our time or our labours, in return for money, doing things we otherwise wouldn’t.
The point is, if prostitution is what you signed up for – fine (and personally I have absolutely NO objecttion to the concept of prostitution in any case). However, if you are blackmailed into it by holding over you not only agreed payment for your modelling, but even the expenses you have forked out to get there, then it’s coercion – pure and simple.
Yes, you can argue against the wisdom of being bullied or blackmailed into something you didn’t want to do,but that’s totally missing the point.
Well, all I see is if he doesn’t win the lawsuit, his “modeling” career is OVER!
Does anyone else think that by being able to masturbate to COMPLETION on camera and in front of people our model friend here actually LIKED doing it? If he was so uncomfortable model boy wouldn’t have been able to get it up, let alone climax.
Whether Benjamine has grounds for a suit,is debatable,as many
readers have said.
Dwelling on his probable stupidity ignores several questions:
1)Don’t stupid people have equal rights?
2)Isn’t B.B.’s passive cooperation symptomatic with our societal
obsessions with success and fame?
3)If the kid’s image had been a successful/profitable ad for A-F
wouldn’t that corporation be pleased?
4)If we saw him in the ad,would we be concerned with his
Really? A guy who “models” for clothes by not wearing clothes? He jerks off and then gets off. And then he sues for 1million $. And that was last year. Hmm. I ahte A+F so I hope he wins. BUT I think he is a gold digger.
Female models get this stuff all the time. The usual advice is to walk out and call your agent, but many models go along with it either because they think it might get them work or because they think if they don’t do it they’ll lose work. When you’re young and in a difficult situation you sometimes do something you know is stupid and then realize afterward that it was not just stupid but supremely stupid. And there’s always an implied threat when an employer asks an employee for sexual favors, which is why we have laws against harassment in the workplace.
To get a million dollars out of it he’d have to prove that some combination of work he lost plus treatment for the trauma he suffered is worth close to a million, which he probably will not be able to do. And I doubt if he can blame A&F–the appropriate response would have been to refuse to do it and tell them immediately.
Yeah, I don’t feel bad, I’m sure he might have felt some pressure but I can’t even pee when I am truly uncomfortable, forget masturbating and ejaculating so at some point he got into it, its not like he was touched, fingered or rimmed where so participation is needed
Let me see if I got this right:
1. He signed a model release;
2. The photographer asked the model to do something;
3. The model did what he was asked;
4. The photographer got the picture;
5. They were both old enough to make their own decisions.
What’s the problem? I don’t see one.
@Don Wand wrote: “Well, all I see is if he doesn’t win the lawsuit, his “modeling” career is OVER!”
For filing the suit, at all, his “modeling” career is over. A model can say “no” and only get a reputation for not being fully cooperative… But, no sane photographer is going to hire any model who has previously sued the photographer.
Can anyone really be that stupid? I’m thinking yes, or he’s a genius and using being stupid as a defense. Is he a brilliant master mind, or really a low functioning moron?
It”s interesting that so many people on here choose to attack the model rather than Brian Hilburn, who behaved unprofessionally and reprehensibly. If this is true, I hope Hilburn never works for a major company again.
Both the photographer and Ben are to blame. The photographer for luring Ben in and Ben for taking the bait. Some people are still relatively naive at that age easily suckered. Hopefully he’ll learn from it and keep it in mind next time someone tries that stunt. He did do the correct thing about filing a lawsuit for unethical business practice. A&F has a history of doing nude photo shoots with male models (Carlson Twins, Joseph Sayers, etc) and those models probably knew what they were getting into. Ben was probably sleazily appealed to. For the photographer to whip “himself” out during or after the shoot to compare sizes is an infraction to the professionalism they’re supposed to use
Actually, I find it incredible that the model is the one being attacked here. When it’s doctors having sex with patients as part of their therapy, or college professors having relations with over 18 students, or even coaches behaving inappropriately with adult athletes, nobody has a problem recognising the power dynamic that makes it hard for the subordinate to say no. And the law recognises that and provides remedy. Just because this was a young clothing model, NOT A PORN STAR he is expected to have strength of will that grown adults do not in situations with similar dynamics.
I have known a couple of underwear models about his age, and they were heterosexual, and in no way interested in anything sexual, so why are people projecting this slutty persona on this kid?
@Timmeeeyyy!!!: Agreed. Living a lie! ;-)
So wait, do you mean to tell me, men can be exploitive, devious, dishonest, thinking from “both heads”, and self-interested, as men have always labored to do so? …color me shocked…
@Dixie Rect: It seems obvious,Dixie Rect,
That you should ask your questions of yourself.This is cheating,I guess,
but I think your correct answer would be “low functioning moron”.
Regardless of how this turns out, one thing is for sure; the next time a sleezebag photographer thinks about asserting sexual duress onto a professional client, this fiasco may be just enough to cause him to STFU.
That being said, this model most likely surveyed the bizz and knew the possibilities. All models should be prepared to ward off ugly old men. After all, if the models are that good looking, they naturally should have some practice at it.
PS Even if the practice has been warding off only women.
Yep, he’s a white male so obviously he deserves no sympathy. It’s all his fault for being an idiot.
Now if he were a black woman you’d all be screeching “RAPE” and demanding the photographer be drawn and quartered for his crimes.
Typical leftist mindset.
Oh and by the way the Abercrombie store in Jackson MS went out of business about 2 years ago because no one would buy their crap.
I wasn’t sure whether he had a valid claim until I read B’s comment. The fact that the fake lawyer and likely third-tier law school student “B” says that he has a valid claim is the best possible reason to conclude that he doesn’t
B – every post here exposes you as incompetent to practice law. Please quit Regent Law School and go study air conditioner repair. Or get a full-time position as Dharun Ravi’s fluffer. It’s what you do anyway, you may as well get paid.
No. 34 · Steve wrote, “Let me see if I got this right: 1. He signed a model release; ….
5. They were both old enough to make their own decisions. What’s the problem? I don’t see one.”
The problem is that he claims to have been referred to a modeling agent by A&F, and thus would assume that the photo shoot was part of his job. While we don’t know all the details, A&F may be responsible just as it would be (i.e., to the same extent) if sexual harassment was carried out by a consultant hired by A&F instead of a salaried employee.
IF A&F loses, and the modeling agent was not an employee but more of a consultant, A&F can sue the modeling agent for damages, possibly for breach of contract. One would presume that A&F’s corporate lawyers would put a clause in the contract ensuring that a modeling agent it uses does not sexually harass A&F’s models, but you’d have to see the contract to say for sure.
No. 47 · Dennis — Dennis, you are a complete and utter idiot. You can’t even read. The post you are referring to included two links, one to a government web site, and pointed out that a lawsuit could be for sexual harassment. I also specifically stated that I had no idea as to the validity of the model’s claim as to what happened.
You are also a liar – I never claimed to be lawyer (nor did I claim not to be one) but simply ignored your statements (made, probably, under a number of fake user names). If you don’t like the definition of sexual harassment in the links I provided, bring it up with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and tell them what you think is wrong with it. Don’t be surprised if they laugh at you.
Re No 47 – something I should have added – that troll now calling himself “Dennis” has a personal grudge. He got upset about comments on some Queerty Articles on that Ravi character where I went to the trouble of posting what New Jersey’s “bias intimidation” law actually said – word for word.
This “Dennis” character didn’t like me pointing out that when a law says you are guilty of Z if and only X and Y are true, then to get off the hook, you can show that either X or Y are false. Dennis, not being particularly bright, thinks you have to be a lawyer to know that, but it is in fact a trivial application of propositional calculus.
Ravi’s lawyer had some reasonable arguments. He didn’t win, but it was probably because the jury didn’t find Ravi all that credible and didn’t believe any mitigating comments made in chat sessions, emails, tweets, etc.
Should have referred him to Bruce Weber. Would have spared poor Benjamine all the peen drama and had some excellent photos. Wonder what kind of referral fee the ‘casting director’ got from the ‘agent/pornographer’?
it is never about paying for sex, it is paying for them to leave the next morning.
What is different than any OTHER work situation in which someone asks you to do something (sexual) and you potentially have the FEAR that if you do not… you’ll lose your job or future opportunities?
If you’re seeing a photographer that is connected to your employer then an 18 year old will have a difficult time saying NO to a photographer’s instructions. Besides, it is a sexual world with A & F and this model maybe thought it was the norm. It sounds like the photographer took advantage of an inexperienced 18 year old model. 18 years old may be an adult BUT you can still have an authority figure at work mess with your mind and cause you to feel pressured.
I hope the sleazy A+F photographer gets fired and can’t find work for awhile.
Let’s hope that A+F loses A LOT of money from being sued!
You girls are so lame. Whether he wins or not, whether it’s true or not, whether it’s sexual harrassment or not, he just strategically moved up the rung from another “beautiful male model” (and he certainly is that) to “somebody”. As Liz once said of the myriad of tabloid gossip, “I only start to worry when they STOP talking about me.”
Any half-witted lawyer can get a nice settlement out of this. Juries hate big biz, so a trial is out of the question. If you think Ben’s a moron then you’re an even bigger one.
@Rich: Please lighten up a bit,Rich.
No. 57 · Rich wrote, “Any half-witted lawyer can get a nice settlement out of this.”
… probably true if A&F screwed up regarding its responsibilities for a sexual-harassment-free workplace. If someone at A&F gave a personal referral (e.g., “Hey Benjamin, you should get a modeling agent to help you get work at other companies as well. As a recommendation, you might consider Brian Hilburn …”) then Hilburn might end up fully responsible. If A&F asked for a portfolio and sent Bowers to Hilburn as part of Bower’s job, then A&F may be dinged as well.
The main question about a “nice settlement” is who is responsible – if it is just Hilburn, the settlement might be low as there is no guarantee that Hilburn has “deep pockets”.
I wouldn’t dump on Bowers for filing a lawsuit if his claim about what happened is true – it will stop Hilburn from pulling the same stunt with other models.
This Hilburn character appears to run a “modeling agency” out of Jackson, Mississippi (red flag) where these events took place. I would say that the casting director for A&F did know or should have known that Hilburn’s motives were unprofessional and potentially contrary to law(he created a hostile work environment). Any casting director for A&F should not be referring employees to Hilburn, and I would bet that they no longer will be.
This suit was filed exactly a year to the day I think after the events, which suggests that they’ve been trying to settle the case and had not done so. They would have to file with the court now, because of the statute of limitations.
I would expect Hilburn’s business to be down as a result of this exposure, and I bet he’s keeping a low profile in Jackson, MS too (they get internet there right?). I don’t think those are bad things. If Hilburn can get people of this caliber (Bower’s a real model and it is A&F) to play along with him from his base in Jackson, Mississippi, I think it’s better things stop now.
The model may be dumb, naive, gullible, etc., but I can sympathize with his feeling violated after the fact-he may be 18, but that’s not that different from 17. It amazes me how some young men who look like him have no clue about the intentions of some other men. It has ever been such.
i don’t know who is douchier, that model or A&F????
@Armando: I’ve never paid for sex, but for him I’d make an exception.
Photographers are often awful and take advantage of models- and remember, many are 14, 15, 16. I applaud anything that MIGHT put that inkling in back of a dirty photographer’s mind that this is ok. I mostly have seen this in straight male photographers to females, but obviously happens to guys too.
I say, “Pictures or it didn’t happen!” I’d like to see what he has to offer just to be sure that he has a lawsuit.
Seriously, if this had been a man and a woman, people would be outraged. Let’s see some anger here. It doesn’t matter that this guy was stupid. It matters that what the photographer did (if he did it) was WRONG.
lucky guy. sure is cute.
The tone of this article and many of the comments is disturbing. How can you call sexual harassment “a life lesson?” Seriously, what the hell?!
But I ALWAYS ask my 18 year old models to expose themselves and jerk off. In fact, I generally talk them into letting me help –you know lips are so much better than hands. They love using this ol fluffer. I just cannot really believe we have so many prudes in our community, and so many who are so sex sensitive and sex hysterical that they immediately would make a crime out of man sex. Our society’s 18 is already a pretty old age in the real world to take responsibility for one’s self and actions except in this sexually infantile and money leveraging legal system. This hot boy was not raped or forced. He is trading on his hots guys and is in the business. Can you look like that, be in business and never been ht on before? He didn’t contract any disease, and he may have learned and earned a bit as well as have had a decent time. Are all these sex phobes gay republicans or typical American lawyers hoping for another ridiculous suit against a prestigious target? They are certainly falling into the sex-is-naughty camp. Buck up boys, sex is happening all around you! Even children have sex, contrary to Victorian ideas or parental fears. If this is what the gay community has come to be: prudes and sex phobic and sex hysterical — assimilation has gone way too far.
@EvonCook: But he working a store for goodness sake! He wasn’t IN the business. He came down for a shoot, and some lecherous guy took advantage of his youth and naivete to take sexual advantage of him. It’s not that people are prudes. In an appropriate situation, if he wants to sell his ass for sex, I have no problem, but I simply think that there is at the least, a case that the agent was highly unprofessional, and at worst, criminal sexual behaviour.
@EvonCook: And you have the gall to call
others’ comments,with your long-winded diatribe,EvonCook?!?
I think that for you,HALFBAKED would be a more descriptive moniker.
@KyleW: Thank you,KyleW!FINALLY!:Some sense.
I am ashamed to be in the same community guys as these uptight sisters. Maybe they hang around their computer screens so much that actual sex with the real wild world scares the pants off of them unless of course it is a proper date, marriage driven and blessed by some holy-rolly church. Boys are out having sex all over the place, more so these days, even srt8 guys use gay guys to get off, and the workplace is part of that experience. Not only are “Shoots” all about selling your sexuality, but A & S specializes in sexualizing young men’s bodies for the capitalist cause. Please don’t imagine their employees don’t know and embrace it! You have so much “sense,” and so little experience or common sense, it scares me. I worked in stores too, for years, and we had lots of sex (sometimes more than daily!) especially with the young hot guys who loved to get off. All over 18, (actually not all), but all able and willing, and all –str8 and gay, thought coming at work, shooting a load with or in other employees was much better than a coffee break. And it is! You uptight, overprotective, semi-hysterical (closet or assimilation) queens should try it or turn in your gay cards. I’ve certainly earned and enjoyed mine and joyfully brought a lot of guys into the experience.
@EvonCook: Here’s something you might not have considered in your “everyone is getting off at work all the time, especially if they are underwear models” world Evon: you seem to be acting on the assumption that this was just an exciting little sexual adventure for him, and damn it, we’re all just being killjoys for suggesting that this may have been sexual harrassment.
Would you still be arguing the same if it was an adult agent and a teen girl? Because you seem to be acting on the assumption that hey, whipping it out and jacking off for a lecherous gay boss was just fine and dandy because the kid probably enjoyed it. But what if his idea of sex isn’t masturbation in front of guys old enough to be his father? What if, shock horror, he’s heterosexual, and this is a humiliating invasion of his privacy? What if, and I know it’s barely conceivable in your upbringing of rampant daily gay teen sex, he IS a gay kid, who just doesn’t wanna go that far? Your characterisation of youth being all sex and hormones may be true for some, but it’s certainly not true for a significant proportion.
It appears that you’re still HYSTERICAL,EvonCook,as you latest verbose
diatribe shows you’re still really half-baked.
“we’re all just being killjoys for suggesting that this may have been sexual harassment.” You sure said it! Glad I don’t know either of you, and I certainly could never be friends with such anti-sex prudes. If this kid is supposedly so delicate (which I don’t believe for a minute) not only is it time for him to wake up with some real life experience, but he is definitely in the WRONG business. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. This might be completely different if he was forced, hurt or infected, HE WAS NOT. –And, YES, the same goes for any 18 year old girl flying off to a stranger for a sexual-tease photo shoot. It is amazing that people who I assume are “gay” can be such horrendous, screwed up prudes. Sexual liberation must be a thing of the past, or are you lesbians in disguise?
Full story here: http://www.queerty.com/a-f-model-claims-photog-made-him-strip-pleasure-himself-to-appear-relaxed-20120619/#ixzz1ye8mjomE
@EvonCook: Damn,EvonCook!! How long does
it take?!? You’re STILL HALF-BAKED_Nothing worse than an over-gassy souffle’!
@EvonCook; Methinks thou doth protest too much. Are you the photographer, Brian Hilburn, using a pseudonym?
@Knew the L.A./ Palm Springs Scenes, too:
BRAVO,Knew the L.A./Palm!!! Touche’!![and thanks].
@Armando: Just what I was thinking.
It this picture is from that shot,that photog was onto something. The kid is to-die-for gorgeous and the foto is about as sexy as any I’ve ever seen. That softly etched bulge in those tighty-whities has got this old man’s racing. I’d give him a million to jerk off for me if I had it.
Feel free to share your outrage, ladies.
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