Broadway darling Alan Cumming has apologized for tweeting a picture of himself and Terry Richardson, the racy celebrity photographer who ignited a firestorm of controversy this week after several models came forward to accuse him of sexual assault.
The seedy and alleged non-consensual relationships Richardson shared with several of his models have long been an urban legend on the Internet, even though it’s not that hard to find a plethora of blogs dedicated to posting his disturbing photoshoot outtakes and taking him down.
The allegations against Richardson came to light this week after New York magazine published a profile of him that, according to critics, attempted to downplay the experiences of his victims. On Monday, BuzzFeed published the account of former model Sena Cech, mentioned in the New York piece, who claims she was forced to perform sexual acts on Richardson despite New York‘s assertion that she “was the instigator.”
By the end of the week, The Guardian and Jezebel published two more accounts from models who claimed they were forced to perform sexual acts on Richardson. On Thursday, TMZ revealed that Lady Gaga scrapped her “Do What U Want” video because it simulated rape and —you guessed it — was directed by Terry Richardson:
All this in the same week that notoriously creepy American Apparel CEO Dov Charney was ousted from the company on similar charges, a day before Gawker published disturbing video of him sexually objectifying employees. A week for “Revenge on the Pervs,” as the Daily Beast called it.
On Thursday, Alan Cumming was thrust into the controversy when he tweeted a photo of himself with Richardson, captioned “This is @Terry_World as me, and me as him. We just did a wee shoot for @harpersbazaarus”.
After an onslaught of negative feedback, Cumming deleted the tweet and offered the following apology: “Wow sorry for offense earlier. I had absolutely no idea about the controversy and feel bad for not having been appraised of it.”
BuzzFeed notes that this isn’t the first time a Richardson-related tweet has been deleted. In April, Neil Patrick Harris reportedly deleted a tweet hailing his nude photoshoot with Richardson as “so fun.”
As you can see below, it’s not that hard to spot a pattern in Richardson’s work: