The 75th Golden Globes ceremony hosted recently made rounds in the news, not only for its honoring of the best in television and film, but because of a rallying support by attendees for the #MeToo campaign. Actors and actresses alike were donned in black, and featured specially made pins on their outfits, leaning their support towards the Time’s Up movement, and pledging solidarity with those sexually assaulted and harassed in a post-Harvey Weinstein era in the American entertainment industry.
Renowned philanthropist and talk show host Oprah Winfrey’s Cecil B. DeMille award acceptance speech too made the news, in which she roused the public with her powerful rhetoric on female empowerment, speaking up and rallying for unity, so that “when that new day finally dawns”… “nobody ever has to say, ‘me too’ again.”
Within days of the Golden Globes, yet another celebrity’s success and image was used and attacked in the form of Olympic diver Tom Daley and nude images of him being widespread over the Internet. Media reports claim that the pictures of the 23-year-old, who is gay and married to film producer Dustin Lance Black, were taken when Daley was having an alleged secret affair, while “on break” with his fiance-now-husband Black; these nudes were not taken recently, and pre-marriage. Daley has not responded or provided comments on this matter these reports claim, other than supposedly having his lawyers crack down on portals that shared these private pictures of his.
However, gay friends of mine shared these pictures with me as soon as they were able to get their hands on them, happy that the privacy of one of the world’s most athletic and well toned bodies, were now available for the public world to see. There were calls for celebration, drinks and rereads of erotic fanfiction with “proper” visuals now in mind. One decided to even create a layout of these pictures into a wallpaper on his phone, albeit rather sarcastically. For additional context, Daley’s charm and wit — along with his baby voice — are a source of happiness for most of my gay friends. And why wouldn’t it be, since Daley is just as gay as we are.
Interestingly these were the same group of people who were vocal in calling out Harvey Weinstein and disgraced actor Kevin Spacey for both mens’ alleged abuse of power and position to manipulate those under their wing or close to them. These were the same group of enthusiastic Twitterers, rallying behind Winfrey’s speech at the Golden Globes, and the same friends who called out sexism and racism when they saw it – unapologetically, and with pride.
These media reports also suggest that perhaps these were shared by Daley’s former partner mentioned in the affair, out of vengeance, maybe. Now, granted, Daley wasn’t sexually assaulted, to the extent that which the likes of Kate Beckinsale, Gwyneth Paltrow, Daryl Hannah, or Annabelle Scirorra had faced at the hands of the disgraced Weinstein – who has vehemently denied all such allegations. Nor was Daley’s body or good looks used by others with the premise of more jobs or higher pay, and neither was he was taken under the wing of a bully and a rapist. Daley wasn’t “used,” but he is no doubt being used by my friends.
For this group of conscious Twitters and feminist friends of mine, Daley’s nudes are shared and kept, and in doing so raises several questions: in an era post-Harvey Weinstein, and in a time where sexual harassment of women and men – Kevin Spacey, we have not forgotten you too – will no longer be tolerated, are gay men allowed to share Tom Daley’s nudes? Is it perfectly alright to continue to vocally proclaim support against one group of people whose privacy has been violated, but joyously hold hands and cheer when another’s intimate moments are leaked – just because he is gay and “cute”? How do we justify this drawing of lines of sorts between what is acceptable and what isn’t? Would things have turned out differently if Daley was a women?
I don’t know the answers to these questions. Perhaps things would have turned out differently if Daley was a women, or if my friends were straight.
I still haven’t deleted Daley’s nudes from my phone, however. I guess I’m just as bad as my friends.
Last modified: January 11, 2018