Four pictures of Richard Armitage that some fans felt it was disrespectful of me to post

Note: I am making this post not to call down readers’ wrath (or solicit approval) on fellow fans who felt it was inappropriate to post these pictures. But I think in light of recent events the whole question of what constitutes an acceptable image of an entity whom one admires in some way or other is a kind of interesting one, as well as the matter of whether they can be disseminated. These are the two questions I want to discuss. Please do not attack me personally for having re-posted them. Great to make arguments about why they should not be re-posted (“This image should not be reposted because …” but if you insult me for doing it in this post, you will be blocked). And as / if we discuss this, please be aware of the comment policy and do not police third parties, make comments about crazy fans, etc., either I will delete those comments. I’m solely interested in a discussion about the question of the boundaries of “respect” in fandom.


GMTV00249Fall 2010, from Spooks 9 press blitz. Original caption and some discussion here.


vlcsnap-2012-05-17-22h44m27s218Positive discussion of my post here, but the cap itself disappeared from a number of other places that had originally hosted it. Fall 2010, from an episode of Spooks 9.


B4RBT7uCUAAtXm6Source. December 2014. Allegation of those who posted this being “base” and “mean” appears here.


B6S2U2oCcAER9JtJanuary 2010 (typo corrected, actually): January 2015. Richard Armitage, second from right. I didn’t post this picture here but I heard a lot of rumbling on facebook about how re-posting it was disrespectful. It looks like my original source for the repost has removed it.

~ by Servetus on January 11, 2015.

121 Responses to “Four pictures of Richard Armitage that some fans felt it was disrespectful of me to post”

  1. Okay I can see why there was some rumbling about the one photo in the middle but I guess I’m just missing why the others are a problem.


  2. I’ve lived through this before……ding ding round two.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I find the positive comments of photo number 2 and the negatives of all the others, more than a little off-balance.


    • I know. Isn’t that strange? It’s often extremely hard to tell what the boundaries are or where they will be ahead of time. For that reason I didn’t incorporate any nude / semi-nude photos in this series.


      • I think all the photos themselves are innocent. numbers 1 and 3 can be seen as unfortunate (LOL!) but it’s what we say about them that puts either a positive or negative spin on them.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I totally agree. Which raises the next interesting question, which was sort of raised for me by the reaction I got this time from posting the “ear” detail photo on tumblr without comment — is our natural strategy some variation on reaction to / attribution to the poster of the photo of a particular reaction that we construct ourselves and then get exercised about? Do we talk to other fans at all, or rather primarily with the echo chambers of ourselves in our own heads?


          • interesting. when I first viewed the photo I was drawn to the individual shape of the ear. then I noticed the dark spots, going in for a closer look to see if they were freckles or dirt. then I wondered if, knowing the fandom, it was intended to be a celebration of the often mentioned “elf ear”.


            • yeah, exactly! There are all these associations we could draw. I could add — I’ve had a periodic concern with the whole hi res photo issue — things we can see in hi res that would never see otherwise — and it’s an association with The Crucible and the stage door. I suppose the whole “detail” thing is an ongoing hobby horse of mine — but I don’t think it’s that odd to like to look at the details of things.


              • I don’t think it’s odd to like details. I think in images, so I’m constantly interpreting them in various ways. it’s not a choice on my part it just IS.


  4. I have now looked at the photos a few times and am still largely puzzled at why people would find them respectively their publication unwise or offensive. The outfit on the third photo is not one I like but we aren’t taking fashion or colour coordination I suppose?

    I saw some discussion about the publication of the last photo due to it being a private photo but tbh I can’t see the damage – especially as the people and their exact whereabouts are more or less unidentifiable.
    As with all photos there is of course the question of copyright. At least according to German law that would mean the vast majority of photos mustn’t be published without the consent of the photographer resp. their agency and/or the people on the photos but I guess ‘copyright issues’ were not what caused possible negative reactions?


    • No, copyright wasn’t the issue and of course you are right that reposting any of these images would violate German copyright law. One and two could potentially fall under fair use in the U.S., if I reduced the size and used them to make some educational point. The other two are photos taken by people who own them and I don’t know who they are and do not have permission for reposting them.

      I haven’t been able to understand how how the last photo is supposed to be seen as private, when (as I presume) the person who owned it made it public.


      • I wouldn’t categorize the last photo as “private” necessarily, b/c it was posted on a very public venue. if the owner of the pic (or the people in it) want to take it down for personal reasons then it could become private. “private” could not only be referring to who can view the photo but also the context it was taken/ intended for as well.


        • The photo was removed by the OP but no reason was given. However, in my opinion, it’s not possible to unpublish something. Once something is put into a public context it cannot in practical terms be made private again.

          Liked by 1 person

          • See, that’s the challenge with any type of electronic media (if you also include e-mailing). Once the ‘send’-button is pressed, there’s no turning back. The message/image cannot be retracted.

            This photo cannot be made private again, just because it’s been retracted, and so it’s out there.

            I like the photo, and I’m glad I got to see it on your blog. We can only speculate as to why it was removed from an otherwise very public platform, but personally I hope that neither the removal nor the reason(s) that lie behind this removal will be given too much attention, because all we can do is speculate and assume, and I’m not really into that.

            Actually, this photo makes me want to go skiing again – and soon:-)


  5. I did not know the last picture was from Jan 2010. I somehow mistook it to be this year.


    • oh, sorry, no, January 2014. I will go fix that. Thanks for the note.


      • You still got it wrong. It is January 2015 🙂


        • uch. facepalm


          • Btw , I cannot really say it is RA in that pic. Do you recognize him ?


            • I think it’s him. But I wouldn’t bet a thousand dollars on it (not worth it to me)


            • I should say — the identification was made in part on the basis of the identity of the person who tweeted it originally, who was in a film with Lee Pace; and we had seen a picture of Armitage skiing the day before. So it is a reasonable conclusion to draw, I think.


              • The original tweet identified all the individuals in the photo, including Richard Armitage.


              • The last photo was originally tweeted by Juliette Rylance and she had tagged RA and the others posing with her in her original tweet. Her tweet also had their location in it which could have contributed to her decision to remove it. I’ve seen several posts on tumblr demanding it be taken down because “she deleted it so therefore its private & wrong to post it.” I’m not sure I’d call it “private” because it was originally tweeted publicly even if it was removed later, but it is the only photo of the four that gives me pause. The photo seems sweet & harmless, but I don’t know how I feel in general about reposting something publicly that was removed by the OP. That’s something I’m still on the fence about.


                • And I honestly didn’t understand the fuss about the pic from Brazil until today. Ha! I guess I’d been to busy staring at his face to notice anything else. 😉


                • The OP intended to make it public, though, at least presumably. It’s hard to see the decision to put something on Twitter with the tags of the people in the photo in the tweet as indicating that the photo is private. If we want photos to remain private, we do not make them public.

                  Liked by 1 person

          • These pictures just make him look like he’s having a good time with friends. What are they suppose to prove?


            • Thanks for the comment and welcome.


              • Their problem is they didn’t post them first.You post all you want,I love looking at that man .I have a view nudes, but that would no dought be illeagle. Anna


              • Were you able to get my reply?I’m not very good with this tablet.I don’t mind any photos of him,cute,sexy ext. But then again all of them are sexy,sent they? I have some it would surly get me in trouble if I posted them.He’s butt naked.I down loaded from my turminal at work he core they quickly vanished. I’ll let you konow this He’s very Nice. Your pal Anna in i I’ve in i I’ve


                • yes, we’ve all seen those pictures.


                  • My words got a little mixed up,sorry.They should have left them on there.I’m sure they got a lot of attention. You keep posting those pictures,and so will I Every one should see them ,they can take them or leave how ever they wish. Your friend,Anna


  6. Reblogged this on Armitage Agonistes and commented:
    Interesting discussion going on there that readers here might want to join. FTR – I posted # 3 and got very little response. I posted this and we mostly wound up talking about the shoes. Does it make a difference, then, who is the poster, or do I just get different readers here?


  7. I don’t think any of the pics are disrespectful…they aren’t like they were taken without him knowing…he obiously posed for the ski pic and therefore knows there is a very good possibility they will be posted somewhere. From the looks of it there are a lot of people there, it seened pretty public. As for the pic from Spooks ,I think was on the DVD in the ‘extras’ because I am sure I have seen that on DVD somewhere. As for the 3rd pic…when I first saw that one…I confess I had an ‘oh my, that’s embarrassing’ moment but on further reflection…hey…he’s a guy…so what? Some guys I’m sure would be real proud of that pic! LOL I guess my feeling is that if you make a living being filmed or photographed you know it goes with the territory that you are going to be looked at…in great detail sometimes. If you have a problem with it, you may be in the wrong business.


    • I think most men I know in that situation find it embarrassing, but it is a natural consequence of being a guy that that will happen sometime or other.


  8. The ski pic sure looks like it is with Ahna O’Reilly in Washington to me.


    • The tweet that did accompany the pic said who the people are and where they were staying. According to her instagram Ms O’Reilly was on holiday with her sisters. No indication of any connection.


  9. Most of these, he knew he was on camera for, they are in the public domain, as it were, and as such, are public property. The one on stage, well yes, it’s objectifying to focus only on the groin region, but you have to let the little things slide. I don’t query or criticise men who oggle pictures of big breasts (doing it in person is just rude and insulting, will be chastised). There are many more pressing issues than whether an actor at a public appearance had a stiffie or is well endowed.

    The only one I might have a problem with is the holiday pic, which I understand was never supposed to be public. I don’t agree with sharing private pictures but once that picture is in the public domain, it’s there for life.

    A Tom Hiddleston community I moderate had this very issue today. In 2012 someone used his friends facebook account to access personal pictures and posted them on tumblr. I knew nothing of this but one of those pics was posted on our wall today and a fan told me. When I looked into it, I realised that despite everyone vowing to take down or never repost these stolen pictures, I had seen every single one that some blogs listed and described (so others would know which ones to report).

    Clearly those pictures aren’t going anywhere because people are sharing them without knowing the history. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. I loved the picture posted, it’s a really nice shot and I really didn’t want to delete it but after wrestling with my conscience for 5 minutes, I took it down. It may be public now and not going away, but I don’t want to be ‘that guy’.

    Given the recent celebrity nudes/hacking scandal, I’ve had to think about this recently and in my opinion, those who view a picture, knowing that they don’t have the consent of the person being photographed, are doing something immoral. The hacker/thief is most to blame (and that IS illegal, not just immoral) but the watchers have to bear some responsibility too. No, they weren’t nudes, no, they aren’t online in an attempt to humiliate or shame anyone, but they are online because someone wanted to titillate fans. So nude or not, I don’t want to see any pictures of anyone, without their consent.


    • I don’t understand how the photo of the skiiers was never supposed to be public if it was tweeted by the OP, who is in the photo, with the Twitter tags of the people in it. That would seem to me to be a quintessential assertion that a photo is being made public. I don’t see how people who follow these entities on twitter would not have the consent of the people pictured to view it. To me, this situation is very different from the leakage of photos that were intended to be shared with only a particular group being made public by thieves. No thievery was involved in the obtaining, publication or viewing of this photo.

      While I understand the argument that stealing and republishing photos intended to be private is immoral (and also potential illegal), I do not understand the argument that viewing them would be immoral. The viewer is not the one who is transgressing on any moral or legal right of the person in the photo.


    • The argument “I don’t want to see any pictures of anyone, without their consent,” would essentially make every photo of Richard Armitage with a fan that we saw this summer unviewable on your standards. He consented to have the photo taken but he did not sign a release to have the photo disseminated. Some kind of implied consent has to be understood in situations like this. Or else we have to say that all photos for which we cannot see signed releases are illegal / immoral. (actually, German copyright law says the former, I believe)


      • You’re right about implied consent. If a fan asks for a picture and the celebrity agrees, then it’s reasonable to assume the fan will show that picture to others, sometimes in very public forums.

        To snap a picture of a celebrity without their knowledge, while not illegal (the paparazzi have built a whole industry around it) I personally don’t like it and wont view those kinds of pictures. Celebrities don’t sell their soul when they become famous and they are entitled to a private life. Again, just my personal opinion, and the paps and fans aren’t going to stop just because I dislike it. I’m not about to go on a personal crusade about an activity that isn’t illegal, although I do support and sign petitions for privacy laws that will stop the paparazzi from harassing famous people. One reason for my stance is that while the UK press have agreed to respect the baby prince George’s privacy and only release official snaps until he comes of age, the foreign press are hounding the family, desperate for pictures of the baby, and I believe that is wrong and if allowed to continue, will seriously impact his life. That’s an extreme example but I honestly don’t want someone I like to fear going shopping, in case they will be pictured buying condoms from Tesco’s. I neither need nor want to know that kind of thing.

        As to the circumstances surrounding the skiing pic, honestly, I don’t know whether it was released rightly or wrongly. It isn’t such a good pic that I care to find out and I have no intention of trying to stalk him using it. If there’s doubt, I wouldn’t share it. If it was a great pic, I would probably keep it among my personal stash since it can be argued that there was implied consent. I might even talk about it but if in doubt, I wouldn’t share it.

        As for the viewer of illegally obtained pictures being exempt of blame, they know they are viewing something that they have no right to, so they blame the victims to ease their conscience (“don’t take nudes if you don’t want other people to see them” “they’re famous, they should expect it” “if they are famous, they are public property” “They make money off us, and they have no right to say when we can and can’t take their picture”). You only have to read a few articles on the impact of revenge porn on peoples lives to realise that the viewers are committing an immoral act, stripping the victim of his or her dignity and humanity, objectifying them into something that exist for their pleasure, and their need to get off, trumps the victim’s right to consent. I don’t want to be that type of person.

        I will only confront someone like that if they blame the victim, but they too are committing an immoral act in viewing that picture, for the reasons mentioned above. I’m not saying that in most cases it’s a serious breech of morals. I suppose it’s like lying, which can vary in immorality from innocent white lies (“no, your bum doesn’t look big in that”) to lies which can seriously impact people’s lives (“No darling, I’m not sleeping with my colleague, I’m going to watch football with a mate”) to lies which can ruin lives (“Give me your retirement fund and I will quadruple it. Of course this is a genuine financial product, not a Ponzi scheme”). Other than the few people who feel the need to contact victims, increasing their victimisation, most people viewing this kind if illicit material will be of a more minor moral infraction, which is better than some but doesn’t excuse it.

        Non-nude pictures might not have quite the same impact as revenge porn but each invasion or privacy will impact their person’s life. The real tragedy is that often, in trying to understand and know their favourite celebrity better, they are either committing these breeches of privacy, tactilely validating them, thus leading the celebrities to lead more insular lives, closing whole sections of their private life off from the public (as far as possible). You only have to look at how open many actors are before they became truly famous, talking about anything and everything with fans, running blogs, interacting with fans on public forums such as facebook, twitter and blogs, only to slowly diminish interactions, or delete or hand over such accounts to their publicity teams to run. In our desire to constantly know more more more, we’re pushing the people we like to actually reveal less and less.

        Wow, that got long!


        • These are huge analogies, though, that don’t apply in these cases. For instance, none of these pictures were taken by paparazzi. None of them are (in my opinion anyway) pornographic, although they might be titillating. The one that is closest to be being pornographic was taken in public with Armitage standing in front of hundreds of people. The person who tweeted the skiing picture knows Armitage personally and I don’t see how we can argue that she did it to take revenge on Richard Armitage (or in order to assume that we would have to know a lot of things that I can’t even hypothesize about). I frankly don’t see exactly how anyone in this photo has been victimized by its publication.

          re: making the viewer responsible / viewers of private pictures are immoral — I’m not entirely clear on how this works. Certainly, not everyone who views a picture not originally intended for them is morally guilty. If someone sees this picture ten years from now, for instance, in total ignorance of the circumstances under which the picture was released, I can’t see how we can accuse them of moral transgression. But even so, I just don’t see how someone makes themselves guilty of a moral transgression if s/he views a picture that was tweeted by the person who owned it on a public platform. Should we not look at any picture that appears on Twitter in case it might not be ethically acceptable to do so? Surely the people who saw this picture via the original tweet — all of them people who follow one of the persons pictured in the photo on Twitter and thus can claim some sort of legitimate interest in viewing what those people are doing on social media — are not guilty of a moral transgression. That leaves the mass in the middle, most of whom (as was demonstrated on facebook) knew very little about the provenance of the photo and had no reason from the material pictured to assume it was private. The only space i see for that argument is that those who repost it are acting immorally by reposting something that had been withdrawn, but again I think you can only say that if you assume you know why the photo was withdrawn.

          In other words — you can only assume things about the moral status of the viewer if you already assume things about the photo.

          I guess I don’t see how tweeting the photo in the first place was a breach of privacy, assuming the people pictured consented to it (and I have no reason not to assume they agreed); I don’t think that the genre of the photo makes it problematic in any way (as it would be if it were an invasive paparazzi photo or if minors were pictured); I don’t understand the argument that seeing it is immoral given that its subject matter is not prima faciae immoral and most people who see it knew nothing about the photo before they saw it and as the photo ages people will know less and less about its origins.


          • Most of my reply is simply me trying to explain my point of view and how/why I arrived at my present stance on images. I began thinking about such issues a long while ago, with Princess Diana’s life and death. Then the rise in revenge porn and the damage it does, brought these issues to the fore again, and my opinions were solidified with the recent celebrity hack and the new stalking of the royal family. My views surrounding those issues can also be applied to other private/stolen or illicitly obtained images, even pictures that are not pornographic, because the issues of privacy and objectification are often (not always but often) have parallels, even if the consequences of leaked/stolen images have less impact on a person’s life. Like I said, I haven’t looked into the provenance of the skiing picture (because I did not, and had no intention of, keeping or sharing the image) so I cannot speak with any authority on how I would deal with that specific image.

            As for guilt on viewing questionable images, I think you’re right, knowledge of how they were obtained is key. Certainly unwittingly viewing a picture (however it was obtained) that is placed on a public forum is not bad. Like I said in my first reply, I realised I had unwittingly seen almost all the stolen images of Tom Hiddleston. If you didn’t seek the image out and it was simply present in a forum you frequent, you could no more avoid it than you could avoid seeing advertisements which litter public spaces. However, once it’s brought to your attention that an image was illegally or immorally obtained, then you can no longer claim innocence and I would feel a moral imperative not to contribute to the problem by keeping or sharing it. In such an instance, I would do research on the image (I rarely just believe what I am told because people can make mistakes and/or have an agenda) and if I agreed it was not obtained in acceptable circumstances, I would not repost/retweet/reblog it.

            From what you say, it sounds to me like the skiing picture is okay to enjoy and share, that the objections are just from fans, seeking to protect their idol from perceived “threats”, unless there is perhaps part of the story I am not privy to. I gather it was later removed, which would give me pause before reposting or keeping it, but that alone wouldn’t necessarily stop me. Without a C&D to someone posting or sharing it, or an official statement from RAs publicity asking people not to share it, then there is no way to know if this image is wrong to view. Perhaps the tweeter thought the image wasn’t flattering when viewed on a full size screen, so removed it, or perhaps the number of RTs it garnered worried him (with the same kind of fears that fans are arguing, about being able to stalk RA or Lee) and he decided to take it down. Perhaps he was barraged with tweets from protective fans, and he decided that keeping the image up wasn’t worth the hassle.

            Without something official, there is no way to know and in such an ambiguous situation, even if I chose not to share the picture, I certainly wouldn’t condemn anyone else for choosing to share it.


            • There’s a slippery slope argument here, IMO. “Revenge porn” is attempting to impact someone negatively by disseminating pictures of them naked or involved in a sexual act, and specifically pictures that were intended for the consumption solely of the people involved as participant or spectator. This is not the same thing as objectification, which does not involve the active attempt to harm someone (although that may be one of its consequences). Indeed, objectification may be conducted with the specific intention of aiding someone’s reputation. But if we’re going to censor objectification we can all close down all of our sites. We all objectify.


              • When our need to objectify strips someone of their right to consent, we have a problem. A problem that needs addressing.

                True, not all objectification directly leads to negative consequences but stripping someone of their humanity and their rights as a person, by literally seeing them as an object, is always wrong, in my opinion. To err is human, I know, and I’m not suggesting jail sentences or pillorying people who do it, my only hope is simply that those who have the intelligence and insight to see that their actions are part of the problem, voluntarily stop. Change doesn’t happen overnight but I know for a fact that objectification is a huge part of why women still don’t have equality. Just because I am a fan of men and they are not oppressed, doesn’t make it right.

                In this instance, it’s what perpetuates the invasive paparazzi culture, because the viewers of those images don’t care if a celebrity (or a baby) has a right to privacy and dignity. All they care about, is that they get to see new pictures. On a more serious level, we have all heard stories of crazy fans who do really unpleasant things to a celebrity they claim to love. Sometimes they even kill the object of their obsession. Rebecca Schaeffer and John Lennon immediately spring to mind, but there must be more, and hundreds more who have been threatened (or felt threatened) by fans who’s objectification turned to stalking.

                When you lost sight of the fact that the person you are watching is a human being, it’s always a problem, the only question is the degree of harm done.


                • See, this is the thing. This kind of slippery slope argumentation says “if you ever objectify your crush, you are then at risk of stalking or attempting to kill him.” That’s not what’s going on here, and it’s just not evidentially true. It’s just not the case that even if you spend 100% of your time objectifying someone, you’ll turn into a stalker or a murderer. It’s certainly the case that there are mentally ill fans (just like there are mentally ill attorneys and mentally ill cleaning ladies) but they are not made mentally ill by engaging in fan activities.


                  • What I’m saying, is that it’s all part of the same problem. At the very least, you are perpetuating and normalising an attitude which enables others to do harm.

                    I have never said that everyone who objectifies becomes a stalker, just like not every man who objectifies women becomes a rapist, but they help create a culture where rape is normalised and blaming the victim is acceptable.

                    It’s the reason I try not to use gendered insults (bitch, twat, c*unt, big girls blouse etc) because they only contribute to a system which oppresses women and sees them as lesser than men. I don’t want to contribute to that, even in a small way.

                    It’s the reason that I try not to use homophobic insults (fag, fairy, poof, that’s so gay, no homo etc) on gay or straight friends, because it normalises the othering of gay people and helps others foster an attitude where gay people are “wrong” and can therefore be discriminated against.

                    It’s the reason I try not to tell women and especially girls, that they are pretty. Instead, I try to find other things about them to compliment, such as their intelligence, interests or bravery, because I don’t want them to grow up in the world that I did, whereby whatever they do, whatever they are, whatever they achieve, means nothing is they are not first and foremost, beautiful.

                    It’s the reason I will not watch Woody Allen and Roman Polanski films, even when they are free to watch on the TV and cost me nothing, because I don’t want to be a part of a society that overlooks their crimes just because they have another talent that many people enjoy.

                    You may think me an idealistic fool who lives in a dream world, and that’s fine. Perhaps I am. The simple truth though, is that I don’t want to be “that guy”. I want to live my life remaining true to my values and not helping perpetuate, even in a minuscule way, harmful systems which lead to the oppression of others. You however, are free to be any type of person you want to be.

                    I have only ever tried to explain my personal philosophy on these issues, and you act as if I am saying that you will become a stalker. I do not think that and I have never said that. I also usually say “I try not to” because I am only human and I have been brought up with these wrong and harmful attitudes and sometimes, I slip up and I say or do something which isn’t in keeping with my beliefs. I don’t flay myself, just as I don’t flay others for not living up to or sharing my beliefs.

                    Harmful prejudice and attitudes however, cannot exist in a vacuum and I will take as much air away from these things as I personally am able to, because I don’t want to contribute to an environment where these attitudes can thrive.


                    • Because the analogies you offer become bigger and bigger, and thus less and less exact, they get further and further away from the actual question I asked. I asked about disrespectful photos, and you chose to connect those photos to revenge porn, paparazzi photos, stalking, trying to murder John Lennon, theft of private pictures, and denying the humanity of the person in the photo. I am merely trying to keep this discussion to its original parameters.

                      It is self-contradictory, however, to claim the following things at the same time:

                      (a) that creating, viewing and enjoying objectifying photos (or photos that some people find objectifying) and engaging in child molestation / rape are on the same continuum, or that the creation, viewing, and enyoment of objectifying photos contributes to rape culture

                      (b) that one wishes not “to contribute to an environment where these things can thrive” and

                      (c) to justify running a fan site with images of an person that viewers use in objectifying ways.

                      According to your own argument, you are providing the fodder for behaviors you consider immoral and objectionable. If (a) and (b) are true, then surely one should not engage in (c)?

                      I just don’t believe that (a) is true, however. (I also think that the things that Allen and Polanski have been alleged to engage in are much more related to power than sex, and that sex play is merely the cultural venue for their expression.) Enjoying a fantasy about something is not the same as engaging in that activity.


                  • I couldn’t reply to your last reply, so doing so here.

                    You seem determined to twist my words. I would no more suggest that looking at a picture means objectifying than I would suggest that aliens live on the moon. Surely you can look at family pictures and see a whole, rounded human being? How would you feel if you saw pictures of a parent or sibling that were taken without their permission (clothed or nude)? You would feel rather uncomfortable, no? Why? Because you have not objectified the person and can empathise with how it must feel to have what are assumed to be private moments, publicised without consent. You still see subject of the image as a human being and you still respect them and their rights.

                    That is why paparazzi pictures (and the other types mentioned) make me uncomfortable, because I can empathise with the subject, whether I am their fan or not, and the intrusive and invasive nature of such images troubles me.

                    I don’t share paparazzi pictures on my page for this reason. Events, photoshoots, public appearances, fan pictures, screen caps are all fine. It’s no big loss, there’s still plenty to enjoy. I also don’t knowingly share stolen pictures.

                    As long as you never lose sight of the fact that the person you are viewing is a real person, then you are, by definition, not objectifying them, and there is no harm in looking at a beautiful or handsome face or body.

                    It’s only once you begin to see them as something that exists for your and others viewing pleasure, that you have begun to objectify them.

                    And yes, sexism, and all (or certainly the vast majority) of it’s accompanying behaviours, are all about power, be it rape, sexual harassment, abortion laws or the wage gap. It’s all about one group retaining an unfair advantage over another.

                    It’s the same with almost all prejudice, to allow people to continue to live in an elevated stature without feeling guilty about their unfair advantage.

                    I also never said there was a problem with fantasy, fantasy is usually healthy. I have fantasised about people I know as well as celebrities and it never creates a problem because in both instances, I still view the subject of my fantasies as people, not objects, and I am very clear about where the fantasy ends and reality begins, as are the vast majority of people.


                    • I’m not twisting your words. I quoted your words throughout as a demonstration of what you said. I pointed out that the analogies you make are inexact and largely irrelevant to the actual questions raised here and that the categories you define are so rigidly defined as to be self-contradictory.


                  • And clearly you are ignoring significant parts. For example, I have repeatedly said that most of what I have brought up and you regard as irrelevant, is simply me trying to illustrate how I came to my current views on photographs (there, I’ve said it again for the, what, 4th? 5th time?). It has nothing to do with my creating analogies, simply that although you are now narrowing the focus to 4 specific images, the questions you raise are a part of a far larger discussion that we all should be having. How far is too far? I thought you were trying to do the same when you began this post with this:

                    “But I think in light of recent events the whole question of what constitutes an acceptable image of an entity whom one admires in some way or other is a kind of interesting one, as well as the matter of whether they can be disseminated. These are the two questions I want to discuss.”

                    That’s what I was discussing, “what constitutes an acceptable image of an entity whom one admires” and it’s a topic which is far larger than 4 pictures.

                    I’ve thought it all through and made my own choices for what I can believe constitutes an acceptable image. I was simply trying to explain my reasoning to you. Now it sounds more as if you simply wanted me to pat you on the head and say “you’re fine, don’t listen to those meanies”. But that is not my job as a free thinking person. You solicited opinions, but seem determined to fight and twist words because they do not agree with your opinions.

                    At the end of the day, you can post what you want, within the boundaries of the law, and I’m certainly not going to try and police you.

                    I also cannot say anything further to enlighten you on my thinking and how I arrived at it so, I’m out.


                    • No, i was pointing out difficult points in your argumentation to try to learn something. However, you have now gone into ad hominem, so you’re not just out, you’re permanently out.


  10. Seeing the selfie RA posted for New Years, and living in the US, I pretty much guessed the geographic location based on the background. When the last photo appeared on Twitter the following day it just confirmed it. I didn’t RT the photo since it had been removed by the OP and I wasn’t sure it was meant to be public. I figured if he wanted it out there he would have RT it.


    • That’s a very high standard to meet and it seems slightly inexact to me. That implies, for instance, that Armitage knows which photos or other information about him are publicily available and also that he uses RTing to indicate his permission. I think he RTed a total of one interview with him from the Hobbit: BOTFA publicity, for instance, the one in the WSJ. Nonetheless he clearly consented to all the others being made public. He doesn’t RT all the photos of him taken with fans, either. Does that mean he does not want them published?


  11. Meiner Meinung nach, haben diese Bilder per se nichts Respektloses und können problemlos gezeigt werden (abgesehen von Copyright-Problemen) Solche Bilder (und zwar alle) begegnen uns tagtäglich. Interessant wird es doch erst, wenn wir beginnen, diese Bilder in den Rahmen unserer eigenen Wertvorstellungen einzuordnen, was wir daraus machen, was wir in sie interpretieren, was wir uns vorstellen. Und so wird ein an sich auf den ersten Blick harmloses Ski-Bild (das übrigens aussieht, wie vor 30 Jahren aufgenommen) brisant, weil es Vermutungen, die latent im Raum stehen, Tür und Tor öffnet. In jede erdenkliche Richtung, gewollt oder ungewollt.
    Bild 2 ist in meinen Augen an Harmlosigkeit nicht zu überbieten, aber s.o..
    Bild 3 fand ich auch “bemerkenswert”, aber auch hier leitet mich meine eigene Schmerzgrenze, die ganz gut mit dem Offensichtlichen klarkommt. Die Weiblichkeit wird ständig mit überquellendem Busen gezeigt, bei den Kerlen gelten oft andere Maßstäbe.
    Fazit: ich möchte keine Zensur und ja, ich will diese Bilder sehen. Und dennoch glaube ich, dass es Regeln des guten Geschmackes und des generellen Anstandes gibt. Weiß aber, dass das zum Gutteil eben meine eigene Definition ist und somit wird es immer Fans geben, deren Grenze anders verläuft. Ich bemühe mich, das Wissen um meine Grenze nicht automatisch auf andere zu übertragen, (was garnicht immer so einfach ist, wie ich feststellen muß 🙂 )
    In meinen Augen hältst du die Grenzen dieses Anstandes ein. Trotzdem bleibt es ein Tanz auf dem Vulkan.


    • 3: One thinks of the clothing of the Renaissance upper classes, which was designed to display the implications of men’s potency in the most explicit ways.

      dancing on the volcano — you said it. I rarely think it’s worth fighting over taste. Add to this the fact that I’ve been a fan for a long time and so I can laugh at things that a lot of people find outrageous.


      • Oh yes, these men in leggins (Strumpfhosen). Sounds very unsexy, but it’s a feast for the eyes!
        Und zum Thema Humor: ich bin der Überzeugung, dass die Art des Humors auch etwas mit dem Alter und der Erfahrung zu tun hat. Mit 20 Jahren mehr Lebenserfahrung entsteht ein anderer Blick auf die Dinge. Ich kann heute z.B. deutlich mehr Zoten reissen als früher und auch leichter etwas “weglachen” (zum Glück!)
        Das soll mich nicht von Jüngeren abheben, aber es verdeutlicht auch einen Aspekt beim unterschiedlichen Umgang mit unserem Objekt der Begierde.


        • I think this plays a huge role and I’m never sure how to deal with it. I’m roughly Armitage’s age and if I see him with an erection in a photo, I laugh, and I hypothesize that he would probably be embarrassed and then laugh about it. A late adolescent fan on the other hand who has fought more identity battles more recently than I have, and who is closer to his/her own experience of adolescent embarrassment due to the sudden unexpected behaviors of the body, is horrified. The “respect” position of an eighteen-year-old to the older crush is simply different than mine. At the same time, I don’t like arguments that polarize fans in this way, because to me the lines don’t divide especially neatly (it’s by no means automatically the older fans who are calmer about these things). So, like i said, I am never sure about how to talk about it.


          • Klar kann man nicht alle über eine Kamm scheren. Ich bin überzeugt davon, dass es genug “Jüngere” gibt, die einen ähnlichen Humor haben. Das war wieder mal so ein “Durchschnitts”-Ding ist aber natürlich nicht in Stein gemeisselt.
            Wahrscheinlich gibt es da keinen perfekten Umgang mit und es bleibt immer ein Rest Zweifel was man mit der Verlegenheit anfängt und ob sich sowas “gehört”. Hinzu kommt ja bei dieser Bild 3 Diskussion, dass wir hier deutlich näher an der Scham(!)grenze agieren als bei 1 und 2.


  12. Zusammengefasst: Ein knackiges Hinterteil ist erst mal okay (oder – nach längerem Nachdenken – vielleicht auch nicht), aber die Tatsache, dass ein Mann gewisse edle Teile hat und diese auch mal zurechtrückt oder so, muss schamhaft verschwiegen werden.

    Nun ja, ich kann mir schon vorstellen, dass Mr. Armitage es “nicht so ideal” findet, wenn ein Foto irgendwie unvorteilhaft ausfällt, und ich kann mir auch vorstellen, dass er peinlich berührt (aber heimlich auch geschmeichelt) ist, wenn Fans offensichtlich sein Hinterteil sexy finden.

    Tja, Mr. Armitage hat sich einen Beruf ausgesucht, in dem man zwangsläufig gesehen wird. Er weiß auch, dass es Screencaps und Zoom gibt. Jeder, der mal eine DVD geguckt und zu einem zufälligen Zeitpunkt auf “Pause” gedrückt hat, weiß, was für peinliche Zufallstreffer da entstehen können.

    Wenn Richard trotzdem noch seinem Beruf nachgeht, bedeutet das für mich, dass er mit den Schattenseiten leben kann. Ich persönlich neige eher dazu, unvorteilhafte Zufallstreffer mit einem erfreuten Grinsen zur Kenntnis zu nehmen (“Hey, Mr. Perfect ist auch nur ein Mensch!”), als zu APM.

    Danke für das Ski-Foto (gab es mehrere, die ich verpasst habe?). Mir war’s mal wieder entgangen, und als ich nach einem entsprechenden Hinweis kurz auf die Suche gegangen bin, war nichts zu finden. – Hm, ja, vielleicht “sollte” man keine Bilder posten, die von demjenigen, der sie eingestellt hat, wieder gelöscht wurden … Ich bin da unschlüssig, denn einerseits neige ich dazu, den Wunsch des ursprünglichen Erstellers zu respektieren, andererseits war es öffentlich, und damit ging das Bild sowieso schon in alle Welt … Ich schätze, das muss man dann von Fall zu Fall entscheiden. Ich jedenfalls bin ganz eigennützig froh über deine Entscheidung in diesem Fall, weil ich so die Chance hatte, das Foto zu sehen. 🙂


    • ski photo: afaik, this is the only one so far.

      I make my own assumptions, but: all of the people in this photo are adults and at least four of them are public figures and have been for some time. Moreover, none of them come from the generation in which the dissemination of selifes or candids via social media goes without saying. It seems to me to be reasonable to assume that if a public figure tweets a photo of him/herself with other public figures in an informal setting, that said public figure will have asked the other public figures for consent. (I have no way of knowing whether consent was given but it seems reasonable to assume that it was.) So I tend to be with those who deduce that the “problem” that led to the deletion of the photo was the fact that “locate” was turned on and so the tweet said where they were. It is, in fact, one of the marketing tools of Twitter to “humanize” celebs by making them look like they do things other people do, such as go skiining with their friends, so there’s even an argument for the utility of this photo as a piece of social media.


  13. Re. “…the whole question of what constitutes an acceptable image of an entity whom one admires in some way or other is a kind of interesting one, as well as the matter of whether they can be disseminated.”

    Seen in the light of how some deem it necessary to protect Richard Armitage, this is extremely interesting to discuss. There’s the public Richard Armitage, and then there’s the private Richard Armitage. The latter we actually know very little about. This need to protect by some has always puzzled me, and somehow I suspect (I don’t know this, but I suspect) that they have difficulty themselves in distinguishing the public Richard Armitage from the private Richard Armitage.

    Personally, I cannot see why these four pictures should give rise to a need to protect. All four images are taken out of some context. In order to give meaning to the pictures, we must know the context in which they are taken.

    Let me begin with picture no. 4. This photo presents an image of three men and two women/girls(?) + the photographer skiing, enjoying themselves. That’s the context. The protectors believe this photo carries some implicatures, and that the viewers of it will infer something from this photo. It’s a reasonable assumption that some viewers will believe this is proof of ‘more than friendship’. However, give the majority of us credit, please. It’s all very, very circumstantial, and personally I really do not care one way or the other. It’s interesting that this protection-mode can have the adverse effect, because by trying to protect “Oh, no, you shouldn’t publish this”, the so-called protection could give rise to even more (unwanted?) chatter.

    Picture no. 3: I cannot see why anyone would object to the publication of this photo. Again, a picture taken out of context. Richard is standing on a stage(?) with a microphone in this hand – I cannot see it. Am I blind?

    Picture no. 2: This is a still from Spooks, I believe. It shows a very delectable behind. Richard works long hours in the gym to maintain this delectable behind; it’s his job. Alright, it may be objectifying a certain part of his body, but is it any worse than commenting on his hands or his eyes? I don’t think so.

    Picture no. 1: This is in some way related to picture no. 2, I think. The delectable behind has to be squeezed into some tight-fitting jeans for maximum effect. This can be very uncomfortable for other areas. Besides this picture is also a still from a programme with interviews of the cast of Spooks, incl. Richard, and behind the scenes footage. So once again, this is a picture taken out of context, and I believe Richard’s action is part of a joke – I can’t remember exactly.

    So to return to your problem, no, I don’t know where to draw the line. What is an acceptable image to me is obviously an unacceptable image to others. I only wish that these others would be aware of the risk of stirring up even more chatter by trying to censor/protect. Richard has been in the game for many, many years. I’m sure he knows how and when to protect himself.

    Sorry, if I step on anyone’s toes with this. It’s entirely unintentional. But how can we have a serious (I’m tempted to write ‘academic) discussion if we aren’t allowed to express our opinions?

    Liked by 1 person

    • About photo #3, I don’t know what it says about me that I noticed right away. Uhhh… Train your eyes south of the border.


    • Where people get into trouble with this is when they start insulting each other (which is what happened on FB). Very painful to observe. I think we can discuss our opinions without being personal. To me there is a difference between saying “this photo should not be published because” and “you are immoral for publishing this photo.” One might not like to hear either of those things but the second hurts a lot more as it is an insult.


      • There’s a certain rhetoric I absolutely abhor, and it’s when one party resorts to personal attacks. “You are so and so when you do so and so”. A much more efficient approach is to stay in one’s own courtyard, i.e “when you say/write so and so, it makes me feel…/uncomfortable etc., because…” Proper argumentation technique!


      • I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I tend to shy away from those types of discussions.


        • well, they haven’t been allowed here in that form in well over four years, now — but I agree. It’s so much easier to say, this makes me feel. It’s also taking responsibility for one’s position.


    • re: 1 — I think the deal was that Armitage had bulked up for Porter (not on purpose, but just because of all of the exercise) and Lucas’ silhouette was much slimmer. He came back to his Lucas wardrobe and it was tight. There are a lot of episodes in Spooks 9 where we can observe this difficulty.


  14. The picture of the group posing in ski gear was not taken this year; it was taken in the French Alps some time ago. No, I cannot say how I know this. You can either take my word for it or not, depending on how much you’ve interacted with me and know my character. The original Tweet does not state it was taken that day, it merely insinuates it. That is all. Thank you.


  15. I will come across as a complete ignoramus with my comment but the fact of the matter is: all four examples are taken from sources that are/were at some point publicly accessible i.e. they were published with intention of being seen. As such they are also invitations to comment. And by extension they are also open to reposting – that’s the way modern (social) media works. Keeping copyright issues out of it, the fact is that unless and until the creators (and possibly the people in the picture) specifically demand that pictures are taken down, there is no reason to (self)censor.
    Whether it is in good or bad taste to comment on such pictures or to draw conclusions from what they see in the pictures and publish those thoughts, is fortunately not regulated by legislation.
    The first two are screencaps btw, #1 shows Mr A adjusting his tight denims on the set of Spooks in a BBC special. BTW, I also thought the ski pic was a repost of a much older pic. It looked familiar to me, somehow…


  16. What one feels to be appropriate depends IMHO on the personal background, upbringing and the individual values.

    I am a middle-aged female photographer from Germany who studied law a long time ago. So my focus is on copyright law, that is respect for the intellectual property of the creator, on respect for the privacy and dignity of the subject and on my own moral values.

    Picture #1 (crown jewels):
    I don’t know what kind of copyright the creator intended, perhaps he’s fine with sharing screenshots. As for RA: this is a public video, if he had problems with the scene he should have mentioned it to the creator. I think the it’s funny, no problems here for me.

    Picture #2 (bottom):
    Copyright see #1. And it’s a public video. But I confess I feel uncomfortable with pictures of body parts without faces, especially if there is a sexual reference. If a man would post pics of female bottoms and bosoms I would think this sexist – and for me it’s the same the other way round. Somehow it reduces a person to an object – not my favorite.

    Picture #3 (As Data would say: fully functional…)
    The photographer shared the photo on Instagram and added a watermark. She was asked on the original post if it’s OK to repost the photo. She didn’t answer this question (but several others), so I’m not sure if she wanted it reshared or copied. This was a public event, so RA expected to have pictures taken, no privacy issues here. A classic “when-you-see-it-photo” and I quite like it :-)!

    Picture #4 (Skiing):
    I guess the photographer posted it public by mistake and took it down as soon as she realized it. And this is clearly a private event. So in my world it’s not OK to post it – respect for the creator, respect for the subjects.

    I think it’s balancing on a thin line and it’s easy to offend people with different values. Weighing up freedom of speech and expression against the infringement of rights and the possibility to be disrespectful and/or hurt the feelings of other people is a decision that every author has to make on his own.


    • #1: this was a cap from an interview on British tv. Afaik the copyright holder has never pursued a claim against a fan for a cap.

      #2: is his posterior different from his eyelashes?

      #4: I think we could only draw your conclusion if we knew why the OP removed the photo. A lot of fans on FB assumed this photo was posted without Armitage’s consent, but given that everyone in the photo is a public figure, I wonder why people draw that conclusion.


      • I think the purpose of this discussion is not copyright, so just that: the default for me is that the creative work is copyrighted and it needs an exception to use it (like public domain, fair use or the copyright is explicitly disclaimed).

        Body parts: I think there are different implications to different body parts in different times and cultures. Right now in our western culture there are parts you show naked in public (like hands and face) and others you would only show your partner or your physicist. And for me there is a difference if you show a special person with his (or her) parts or if you show only the part without the face. I would have had difficulties with pic #1 and #3 if you only had shown the lower part of the body… And to answer the question: yes, the posterior IS in fact different from the eyelashes – and both are beautiful ;-).

        Without reading any comments on FB or other media: in my world even public figures should have a private life. You are right, we only could guess why a public post was deleted. But I think it’s only fair to assume, that the reason is, that the person in question don’t want it to be public. If that should have any consequences whether or not you should publish the photo or if you should delete it is an individual decision.

        Moral and ethic questions are always difficult and I am sometimes surprised by my unconscious answers (das moralische Gesetz in mir). I think Kant’s categorical imperative is still a good guideline: „Handle nur nach derjenigen Maxime, durch die du zugleich wollen kannst, dass sie ein allgemeines Gesetz werde.“ (“Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law”).

        And when I ask me: do I want to see copyright infringement, body parts and deleted private photos all over the web? my answer is a clear: NO!

        That doesn’t mean that I would tell anybody not to post this content (freedom of speech is a very important value for me) but thankfully there is no “obligation to listen”. When I first searched for information about RA I couldn’t get my eyebrows from my hairline… and it took me a while to figure out what I want to read, to see and to know and what is not my kind of stuff.

        I really like your blog, dear Servetus, because you do not post only pictures without text but analyse them, compare them, analyse your feelings and make me think about my values, opinions and emotions. I appreciate this very much – thank you!

        P.S. Sorry for all the mistakes – it’s really hard for me to express complex topics in my limited English.


        • Thanks for your kind words — but I pretty constantly infringe copyright and focus on details of Armitage’s body here! I have my own rough rules about what I will or won’t publish, but in essence they are rationalizations over against the law. If I didn’t infringe, I would not have the money or time to pursue this project (which is not a justification of infringement — just an observation that if I had to buy photo rights and do the correspondence for that, I would never write anything).

          re: conclusions about the OP’s intent — I can think of other conclusions to draw without significant contortions (indeed, your conclusion was the third I drew, not the first).

          re: Kant, as much as I love reading and thinking about Kant, I don’t see how, given what you say about variation in cultural standards about these things, any universal law is possible. We have an international fandom; standards and manners are different all over the place; even within some subsets (the U.S., for instance) there are disagreements about these things. I wish that that fact generally led people to say that more should be permitted rather than less, but I’ve watched enough group dynamics over the years to observe that generally the dynamic goes in the other direction — that what offends one individual or group that is willing to be vocal about it ends up being forbidden to all.


          • I don’t think my opinion is an universal law and I wonder if an universal law does exist but I know that if I listen to my unconscious I often get an answer if an action is right or wrong. For me Kant’s ideas are helpful: What would happen if everybody would act like this? Would the world be a “better” place? Would this hurt somebody? Would it have consequences for me or other people? Would I want that someone did this to my, my family, my friends or my property?

            What if some of my values are in conflict? Truth vs good manners… freedom of speech vs hurting personal feelings… freedom of art vs protection of youth… follow the law vs follow my conscience… freedom vs security… There is no easy answer, each time it’s a personal decision and the person in question has to live with the consequences.

            The internet is comparatively new and very global. I think it’s takes some time to establish some basic rules how to use content and how to communicate with each other. And it takes some time to fit the existing laws to the reality of the net (“die normative Kraft des Faktischen”).

            In my world everybody has the right to have and to express an opinion and everybody has the right to be offended by this opinion and express that too. Hopefully expressing the different opinions by using the upper levels of Graham’s “Hierarchy of Disagreement”.

            Often opinions are not “right” or “wrong” but a case of personal taste and I’m glad that there are differences that make life and the world more colorful: “de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum”.

            My experience: it’s impossible to be everybody’s darling so I do what I think and feel is right and live with the consequences! Some people will like it, probably some will hate it and some don’t care… I will listen to the arguments and perhaps alter my behavior – or not ;-).


            • I don’t think I ask questions about my personal moral dilemmas much differently than you do, if at all, but it’s precisely that requirement for hypothesis that gets us into so much trouble because it relies on a conclusion drawn from an analogy that may or may not be valid. How I would feel if someone did x may or may not correspond to how someone else might feel in the same situation. (I’m guessing, for instance, that the reactions celebs have to the dissemination of pictures of them are strongly differerent in striking ways than how I might feel about it, for instance, and not always in ways that I might anticipate, given that I don’t consider publicity an important factor in making my day to day decisions.) The bigger problem results when someone uses that hypothesis about how Armitage would react to something as a justification for jumping on the actions of a third party. I’m not saying we shouldn’t ask the questions and act for ourselves on the basis of our personal answers to them — that is in effect what every blogger has to do. The problem comes with the reification of the hypothesis into a law.


              • 100 % agree – we can only assume on the base of our experiences and researches and decide for ourselves.

                If a person doesn’t like my actions or opinions or behavior – her problem not mine! She’s welcome to express her feelings and opinions – preferably in a polite way and using I-messages… perhaps we can find a solution and perhaps we can agree that we disagree…

                I don’t think that celebs (and “normal” people) all have the same feelings about their privacy. Some are very free and open with – for me very intimate – details (attention-seeking?), some are very reserved and don’t share much – chacun á son goût…

                And I don’t think that anybody in the net-world has the power (or the right) to turn hypothesis into law or is in possession of the universal truth (alleinseligmachende Wahrheit)… we can only do our humble best.


  17. I’m pretty sure picture #4 was taken this year. Mia Maestro posted a selfie wearing the same jacket (the one with the badge), she also followed Richard on twitter. Also, I can’t get over how tall Lee is. Like, whoa, man…


    • I also find more plausible that this was a picture from this year rather than last year, although admittedly out of circumstantial reasons.


  18. I don,t find any of those disrespectful…1 and 2 makes me laugh and from this day on the third one is laughable too . I’m blind it’s obvious. Tkanks!:D


  19. La France est en état de sidération , suites aux attentats terroristes.
    Hier 700.000 personnes étaient dans les rues , aujourd’hui sûrement plus . Des représentants politiques internationaux défileront cet après-midi à Paris avec la population, pour la défense de la liberté d’expression et contre le fanatisme religieux.
    Les victimes des attentats étaient agnostiques, athés, catholiques, juifs ou musulmans.

    Aussi je ne peux pas crier avec les loups, sur la sortie de ces gentilles photographies. De plus j’ai toujours attendu, avec impatience ,vos splendides articles de fond.

    Mais j’aurai préféré de votre part, quelque chose de plus irrévérencieux, d’impertinent , selon l’esprit critique de Voltaire (compte- tenu des circonstances). Je me serai attendue à un article sur la dénonciation du fondamentalisme religieux, ou de la censure du rire ,de la satire.

    Hannah Arendt a dit : “Penser est dangereux, ne pas penser est encore plus dangereux”. ” Le mal progresse , quand la pensée régresse”.
    Alors que la formation , l’éducation chutent en qualité, que les réseaux sociaux vont vers la simplification, l’abêtissement, l’intrumentalisation de la bipolarisation de nos fausses querelles, il faut dépasser cela , faire bloc pour aller vers la qualité, l’intelligence, la gentillesse… valeurs que RA et ses fans partagent .

    J’ai regardé avant-hier l’excellent film paru en 1980 de J J Annaud , “Au nom de la rose” , tiré du livre éponyme de Umberto Eco , sorte de policier médiéval . Les sujets abordés sont entre autre: l’inquisition au Moyen Age, la censure des écrits non conformes et l’interdiction du rire.

    Cet été RA avait le rôle principal d’une victime de la rumeur calomnieuse et de l’obscurantisme dans la pièce de théâtre: “the Crucible”.
    Dans le Hobbit , Thorin est un roi rendu fou par la richesse , qui trahit, qui conduit les peuples à la guerre pour la reconquête du pouvoir.
    RA devrait également jouer en 2015 un moine armé pour une des croisades du Moyen-Age.
    Ces oeuvres à leur manière dénoncent l’intolérance religieuse, les excès du pouvoir…

    RA a dit , qu’il apprécie d’avoir maintenant , grâce à sa notoriété, plus de liberté . Ainsi il peut choisir la qualité des contenus qui relatent des faits réels , historiques, des classiques de la littérature …

    Que 2015 soit qualitatif et non quantitatif ou sensationnel !
    My best whishes

    (rq: de formation scientifique, il m’est difficile de rivaliser en joutes littéraires . m’exprimant très mal en anglais , j’aimerais tout de même traduire si vous voulez…)


    • Thanks for the comment and welcome! French is always fine although I can’t write French well enough to reply.

      I agree that in the face of political murders fan disagreements over photographs, although a parallel question, may appear trivial. This is not a political blog, though, and this is one way in which I separate my real identity, very vocal about politics, from Servetus, who is quieter about it. I will say that I want to use this discussion as a building block to something bigger I’ve been thinking and writing about lately.

      re: satire — I only write it when I am in a horrible mood about something. I have an idea about every three days and I write them down when the occur, but I only have the energy to think that way under very particular circumstances. It’s also hard to write satire when it involves fans. It’s easy to make fun of myself or Richard Armitage but satire that involves fans … it’s hard not to break my own rules about policing when I do that.

      I’d be happy to talk about fan policing as a sort of censorship of laughter (that’s often what it is).


      • Thank you for your reply .
        My apologies not to speak and understand english well enough too.
        Even I have improved it , since i followed RA and his fans . I try to write .
        After a good night, work duties tomorrow and the days after, next week i shall try to translate, even in bad english, with 2 fingers.
        i do not like computer too
        Good day or night. Have good rest or dreams.


  20. did Juliet Rylance give an explanation for why she took the ski photo down? have the others she tagged in the photo personally expressed that they didn’t want it shared? or is all of this just based on assumption?


  21. I suppose one fan’s “disrespectful” is my “amusing, attractive, interesting or fun;” the list is long . Prurient, salacious or embarrassing don’t spring to mind for any of the fabulous four photos. Apparently “disrespectful” is in the eye of the beholder. The most confusing thing about the ski photo that I saw (once, briefly) is that Jackson Hole was referenced. Not Idaho, not Ketchum (Sun Valley). Jackson Hole is in Wyoming. It has a very high ratio of advanced runs that take a lot of skill. I thought it was great the group was all wearing helmets. Shallow observations, but it it what caught my eye. Oh, and the fact they were on a flat, which means they just came down a run, or are about to go up one.


  22. I don’t get the 3rd pic – isn’t he just wearing tight jeans ? I don’t think any bodily function is happening there


  23. Wow… lot’s of comments… Not that my 2 cents matter, but I guess when something is made public and not ‘thieved’ then sharing shouldn’t be such a problem. The ski picture was retracted but if spreading was supposed to be stopped a statement should have gone along with the retraction. It didn’t so I have no problems with the pic being shared. Besides, there is nothing embarrassing there and the man is hardly recognizable anyhow. As for the other 3 pics – totally public and legit to re-post. How they are discussed could become inappropriate but that’s a whole different discussion and honestly, that is a personal choice.


    • I think in the other case that a lot of us may be thinking of (I certainly was) last January, there was definitely a request that fans not share the photos. (Not that that stopped every fan from doing so.) But there were other good reasons not to share those photos, such as the presence of minors in them.


  24. I agree with Esther…
    On a lighter note: after reading up on some of the comments on here I decided to finally watch photo no. 3 on my computer screen and: “hahaha”. I now know that it wasn’t the – in my view – poor choice of jacket and shirt that caused the controversy… This really made me chuckle. Lesson learned: Sometimes photos viewed on an Iphone 4s screen to show everything 😉


  25. Huh. The first three photos gave me a smile, and elicited not one thought in my head that they shouldn’t be posted or appreciated. The third gave me the biggest smile of all. The fourth- I have to agree with others who have said that the objection to it is most likely based on misguided feelings of protectiveness, specifically because it shows Richard was spending time with Lee, and in some circles that idea is very threatening and very taboo. I can’t imagine that the original tweet was done without the consent and knowledge of the others in the group, but if it was, IMO the poster holds the blame, not anyone who viewed or shared it. Feel bad for her if she made such a misstep and alienated her friends, but I think it’s more likely that the tweet was removed because it gave the location, which they later realized was probably a bad idea. I could, of course, be completely wrong. The question of whether it’s moral to share or discuss the tweet AFTER it was removed by the OP is really interesting, a definite grey area. I have to agree with others who have said that without a specific statement or request that admirers delete the photo, it’s impossible to know whether that was what was they (the skiers) intended.


  26. My only concern with pic 4 is that there are kids in the picture. It is a clearly a personal photo, even tho is was posted on FB. The kids faces are pretty covered up, but still I feel that it is one thing to re-post photos that are work related: from films, DVD extras, screening events, interviews etc. I think those are all fair game.

    The others (1-3) are lets say work related photos. So I don’t really have a problem with them. They are pretty funny. I think personal photos should remain personal even if they end up on FB. I think there is a fine line.



  27. I personally have not yet seen evidence of anyone who has “lost sight of the fact that [Richard Armitage] is a human being.”


  28. english version:

    France is on a state of bewildement after the terrorist’s attacks.

    On saturday 700.000 people walked in the streets all over the country and on sunday probably more ( about 4.000.000).
    In Paris politicians coming from all over the world walked with the population., in the name of freedom of expression and against religious fanaticism.
    The successive attacks count 17 victims ( + 3 terrorists) , who were agnostic, atheist, catholic, jewish or muslin.

    So I can’t howl with the wolves, against the soft photo’s out put.
    I also always impatiently look for your great substantive articles.

    But I should like to have seen something more irrevent, impertinant, in referance to the spirit of Voltaire’s critical mind, in the light of what happened.
    I would have expected you to write about the denunciation of the religious fundamentalism, or the satire and laughter press censorship.

    Hannah Arendt said ” Thinking is dangerous, not thinking is more danderous”. ” The evil thrives, grows when the thought shrinks, diminishes”.
    While training and education drop off in quality, social net works move towards simplification, stultification, the exploitation of polarization of our false quarrels (supposed disputes), we ought to go beyond this.
    We should take a united stand, to steer towards quality, intelligence, kindness… values RA and his fans share. Do they?

    Last thursday, I watched J J Annaud’ s 1986 movie: ” In the name of the Rose”, based on the eponymous book of the italian writer Umberto Eco.
    It ‘s a kind of medieval thriller with Sean Connery, Christian Slater,…
    The topics are among others: the inquisition in the Middle Ages (MA), the censorship of non compliant writtens and the supposed God’s laughing ban (ps: I shall like forever the scene performed in the library )

    Last summer RA played the main role in the theater piece: “The Crucible”. He was among others the victim of scurrilous rumor, slander and obscurantism.

    In ” the Hobbit” RA was a king , who became mad with wealth, who betrayed, who led armies to war , to regain his throne ,power and gold.

    In 2015 RA would probably play an armed monk during one MA crusade.

    In their own way, these artworks report, bring the attention to the excesses of power, the religious intolerance, fanatism.

    RA said he enjoys, appreciates, as a result of his reputation, the opportunity of having more liberty, to be able to choose quality works, which relate real true, historical facts, classic literature,…

    I hope 2015 would be a more qualitative , kindness, than quantitative, “bling bling” , mediocre year
    My best whishes

    merci pour tout

    (ps one more topic to think about :
    Richard Armitage whishes : kindness, loyalty, bareness, selflessness, excellence/ versus artistic , ascetic, spiritual researches . Don’t you think he will have holiday, or be ready to study the way of life in a monatery?)


  29. […] Four pictures of Richard Armitage that some fans felt it was disrespectful of me to post (January 11, 2015). This is a never-ending controversy among fans — what is okay to post, what not? […]


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