Sex+Tech=Boffo News

Who hasn’t heard about the hacker(s) who leaked private photos of some well-known female celebrities? It produced breathless Labor Day weekend coverage from virtually every influential news organization. I suppose nowadays the combo of sex+tech has the capacity to pre-empt such mundane news like Islamist barbarism and a rich Russian despot invading his sovereign neighbor.

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence (Wikimedia)

Nonetheless, the hack did happen to Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence and allegedly many others. The response from those whose privacy was violated varied.  If you were one of these breached stars, what would you do?

A) Have your PR person issue a statement condemning the violation?
B) Have your lawyer threaten the perps with legal action?
C) Take to Twitter to express disgust
D) Take to Twitter to make light of it
E) Do nothing to avoid being drawn further into the story

Here were some reactions:

Jennifer Lawrence’s spokesperson:

“This is a flagrant violation of privacy. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”

Kate Upton’s attorney:

“This is obviously an outrageous violation of our client Kate Upton’s privacy,” said Upton’s lawyer Lawrence Shire in an email to BuzzFeed. “We intend to pursue anyone disseminating or duplicating these illegally obtained images to the fullest extent possible.”

Ariana Grande’s spokesman:

“The photos are completely fake.”

Victoria Justice via TwitLonger:

“Shortly after I tweeted about certain pics of me being fake, I was faced with a serious violation of privacy. There have always been fake photos of me on the internet, but I will not be put in the position to defend myself as to what is real or what is fake. I am angry at this massive invasion of privacy, and like the other women who are in this situation alongside of me, I am taking legal action to protect my rights.”

Kirsten Dunst
Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten Dunst via Twitter:

“Thank you iCloud” (alongside Emoji images of pizza and poop)

McKayla Maroney via Twitter:

the fake photos of me are crazy!!
was trying to rise above it all, and not give “the creator” the time of day.. BUT..

Mary Elizabeth Winstead via Twitter:

“To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves.”

My advice to these exposed celebs: leave it alone. Let it die, or better, let others weigh in on this sad, and not unimportant new dimension of the ongoing data privacy debate.

On the flip side of the coin, one can’t ignore the reality of celebrity culture wherein the public release of salacious images can actually propel careers in Hollywood.  Consider Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson, and Miley Cyrus to name just a few.

I’m not suggesting that Ms. Lawrence exploit the situation.  She’s clearly a star in little need of a career boost right now. But there are other lesser-known celebs who might very well create a silver lining by inserting themselves into this global news story. Just saying.