This summer, the internet has delivered a figurative “bag of dicks” full of celebrity cock pics — in less than a month, we saw Orlando Bloom’s “Privates of the Caribbean”, 50 Cent’s full monty, Bieber’s cleaver and the royal scepter of Prince Charming. At first, we were delighted — we love celebrities, nudity and sex positivity — and our readers were delighted too; those posts were among our most popular from last month.
However, after some internal discussion, we’ve rethought our policy. In short, we will no longer publish celebrity nudes unless those shots are released with the celebrity’s consent. Consent is an important principle to us, and if a celebrity does not consent to their nude photos being shot or published, we’re not okay with republishing them.
It’s been especially interesting because all of the celebrities above had their dicks revealed under completely different circumstances: Orlando Bloom’s were obviously taken by a paparazzi — there were a zillion pics — and reports claimed that he was worried about their being published. Prince Charming‘s (Robert Sepulveda Jr.) had previously published his pictures during his time as sex-worker but had since deleted his escort page; that and his needless guilt and shame over his past sex-work led us to believe that he wished the photos to remain unpublished.
50 Cent’s penis actually appeared in a television show, which we totally consider fair game. However, he apparently did not know that his penis was going to appear in the episode and even complained to the show’s creator through social media, leading us to believe that they appeared without his consent. It’s entirely probable that the episode may be re-aired without his penis, but they won’t be aired here.
If an actor appears nude in a film or TV show, we’ll happily share their bits, which is why we haven’t un-published Jonathan Groff’s penis pics from his 2010 film Twelve Thirty, because they were shown with his consent. We’d mention a celebrity’s private nudes or sex tapes if they hit the web and were relevant to our reporting, but we wouldn’t link to them either unless they were released consensually.
In the case of Justin Bieber’s penis, we considered keeping the photos online because there were some very convincing arguments suggesting the Bieber released his dick pics to create buzz — they were released near the same time as Orlando Bloom’s (the two have a history of romantic rivalry) and unlike Bloom’s, Bieber’s weren’t taken by paparazzi and he made no statement objecting to their release (as far as we know). But yet again, going by the principle of consent, there’s no clear indication that he consented to their release, so we removed those too. We wouldn’t share a person’s nudes if we were unclear about their consent in real life, so we won’t be doing it online either.
While it might be a downer for people who like dick, we strongly value sex positivity and consent: we’re pro-woman, pro-sex worker, pro-sex education, pro-sexual autonomy and anti-rape. Consent matters to us and our readers, and we want to apologize to Bloom, Cent, Sepulveda and Bieber for publishing their photos without their consent. We also thank the commenters who weighed in on our decision to publish them in the first place.
In all cases, we left the original articles intact (sans pics) for transparency’s sake and as a record of our thinking at the time. Honestly, we feel like we’re making the right decision and would love to hear your feedback.