Warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual assault and harassment, and may be triggering for some readers.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve gotten more and more evidence that almost all men are trash, but there are still more skeezy dudes who haven’t been exposed yet. While it usually makes bigger headlines when a famous actor or politician gets accused of sexual misconduct, this stuff happens in literally every industry. And honestly, I feel like it happens in the fashion industry a lot. Famous photographers like Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier, Terry Richardson, and Bruce Weber have all been accused of sexual harassment and assault by numerous people, and now we can add Marcus Hyde, who’s commonly known as Kim Kardashian’s photographer, to the list.
The Instagram account Diet Prada is known for calling out questionable behavior in the fashion industry, whether it’s an influencer copying a designer, or a brand guilty of cultural appropriation. This week they’re at it again, this time exposing celebrity photographer Marcus Hyde and his history of predatory behavior. Marcus is known for his provocative (often partially or fully nude) photos, and has worked with major stars like Kim Kardashian and Ariana Grande.
On Sunday night, Marcus Hyde posted the photo below to his Instagram story, asking for models to respond if they wanted to shoot with him. A woman named Sunnaya, who has over 19,000 followers on Instagram, responded, and the resulting messages immediately raised some major red flags. Marcus told Sunnaya that he would shoot her nude for free, but only if she sent him nude photos of herself first, so he could see if she was “worth it.” If she wouldn’t send nude photos, he would charge her $2,000 to shoot her.
Swipe to see all the screenshots of the initial DM conversation that Diet Prada posted:
View this post on Instagram
Gross @marcushyde . @kimkardashian @arianagrande , come get your boy and teach him some decency. Last night, Los Angeles model and interior design student @sunnnaya replied to the celebrity photographer’s Instagram story seeking models for a shoot. What transpired in their DM was nothing short of the typical predatory douchebaggery you’d expect via shady Instagram “castings” by slimy dudes. With her followers backing her up and sharing her post, Hyde had a simple reply: “suck a fat big dick”. That’s sure to get you points with the ladies, Marcus. • #marcushyde #kimkardashian #kendalljenner #khloekardashian #arianagrande #photographer #celebrity #casting #model #shady #gross #kuwtk #wiwt #ootd #film #digital #camera #celeb #behindthescenes #dietprada
Okay, so just from this, it’s clear that Marcus Hyde is not a great dude. It’s frankly just gross to try to use your influence as a well-known photographer to solicit nudes from women under the guise of doing it for work. And if he’s acting like this in the DM, it definitely doesn’t seem like a good idea to actually go shoot with him, nude or not.
And where there’s smoke, there’s fire. DMs and stories started to flood in from others who allege to have had similar or much worse encounters with Marcus Hyde. Diet Prada posted numerous people’s DM conversations with Marcus on their story, and if these allegations are true, it’s clear he has a pattern of behavior that’s predatory and disgusting.
First of all, Marcus Hyde has no problem insulting women, from his previous comment about Sunnaya being “worth it” (vom) to this DM where says he needs nude pictures to “check your body” and make sure a woman is the weight she claims to be. Again, this isn’t the worst of his behavior, but it’s enough proof that he’s a scumbag.
From there, the DMs shift into territory that crosses the line from harassment into full-blown sexual assault allegations. In this story, a woman recalls how Marcus encouraged her to masturbate during a shoot so that he could get a more “real reaction.” That’s disgusting, but then Marcus started touching the model without getting her consent first. Her description of how he made it seem like an accident at first is really chilling.
Speaking of gross behavior, another person wrote to Sunnaya about how Marcus Hyde asked her to come to his hotel room at 3am to shoot. No professional photographer should ever be shooting a stranger in his hotel room, and certainly not at 3am.
Another pattern that emerges within these DMs about Marcus Hyde is that most of the women who shot with him never even saw their photos. Though Marcus is an established photographer with a large body of work, these random “test shoots” seemed to be nothing more than a front to get women into his hotel room. He knew they wanted to work with him to further their careers, and he took advantage of this opportunity.
Here’s another DM about an extremely similar scenario, where a woman felt “honored” just to shoot with Marcus Hyde, and then had her world turned upside down by this man. She says that “the sex was definitely not consensual,” which, for the people in the back, is rape.
In the wake of all these stories about women being harassed and assaulted by Marcus Hyde, he quickly changed his Instagram account to private before deleting it entirely. Ariana Grande, who has worked with Marcus in the past, responded to the situation on her Instagram Story.
Ariana may not have had the same negative experiences with Marcus Hyde as others did, but she’s also not an aspiring model with a few thousand followers. Ariana did a good job of being diplomatic but direct, but Kim Kardashian’s response felt a little lacking by comparison.
Kim, like Ariana, doesn’t name Marcus Hyde in her story, but we obviously know that’s what it’s about. The thing is, Kim purposely acts like Marcus is some random photographer she “worked with in the past.” This is an interesting characterization of their relationship, considering that they’ve worked together many times, and obviously have more than just a professional relationship. In fact, less than a year ago, Kim posted this tweet in which she calls Marcus a “friend,” asking for prayers after he was injured.
Please pray for my friend @MarcusHyde pic.twitter.com/QIctCk8uhv
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) October 30, 2018
I’m not mad at Kim for being friends with this guy in the past, especially if we assume she had no idea about all of his problematic behavior, but it feels like a total cop out to make it sound like he could be any random guy she met once or twice. I’m glad she said something, but this definitely wasn’t what I was hoping for. Of course no one thinks sexual assault is good, but you can’t act like you don’t really know someone just because you don’t want to be linked to them.
I don’t know why I still expect things from Kim, but this situation is pretty high stakes. Sexual predators are still hiding in plain sight everywhere, so spreading the awareness is important, and so is empowering the survivors of harassment and assault. While it’s a positive thing that these allegations are coming to light so hopefully Marcus Hyde won’t hurt any women in the future, for the ones he’s already victimized, the damage is done.
Images: Shutterstock; diet_prada (3), sunnnaya (2), arianagrande / Instagram