Tiger, Terry and Truth

There is a free speech element to the latest celebrity sex-scandal.  John Terry sought a ‘super-injunction’ against publishing details of his affair, that also prevented the media from reporting the fact of the injunction itself.  On the Index on Censorship blog, Padraig Reidy asks whether the lifting of this injunction by Justice Tugendhat could signal the end of the ‘super-injunction’ as an effective tool in the lawyer’s arsenal.  The #Trafigura affair showed how such injunctions can be circumvented by beligerent members of society.

As an aside, I think ‘super-injunction’ is a misnomer.  Surely an injunction that prevents discussion of itself should be a ‘meta-injunction’ or maybe an ‘auto-injunction’?  Responses from linguists would be welcome.

Why the outrage?

The opprobrium directed at John Terry mirrors that experienced by Tiger Woods, who last month was exposed as having a penchant for sex with strippers and lap-dancers.  In both cases, the chat has centred around the sponsorship deals the men have secured with various brands, and the inevitable loss of these contracts once their philandering has been exposed.  The logic is that these sportsmen are paid because they represent wholesome family values.  When it becomes known that they do not, actually, live up to those values, their worth as the face of the brand is diminished.

How does this compare to the glamourous film stars, predominantly but not exclusively female, who are paid to advertise beauty products?  We all know that when they appear in display adverts, they are heavily photoshopped.   Their smooth skin, supple necks and firms thighs are actually complete lies.   Why no outrage and heamoraging of sponsorship deals, when Heat magazine reveals they have saggy bits?

8 Replies to “Tiger, Terry and Truth”

  1. True, sleeping around isn't a crime — but the action of betraying one's partner and seeking an injunction means a) the agency resides with the betrayer/injunc​tioner and b) they are therefore also the agents of any harm. Models, as I said, do not airbrush themselves, and I'm not sure that the models in beauty magazines make their money off their self-image of perfection, but off the perception controlled by the media rather than themselves. Who has agency? And where does the money go?

  2. Er, because having saggy bits isn't a crime — models don't photoshop themselves then take out injunctions preventing magazines from telling the truth. Surely it's the beauty companies and magazines that are the equivalent of Woods or Terry here?

  3. Sleeping around isn't a crime either. I both cases, there is an invasion of privacy on the part of the news outlet, which is excused and allowed because the fact (whether it is shagging or saggyness) is in the public interest. And it is in the public interest because it contradicts the image of perfection that the celebrity is projecting into the world, and making money off.Perhaps it is just a question of degree.

  4. True, sleeping around isn't a crime — but the action of betraying one's partner and seeking an injunction means a) the agency resides with the betrayer/injunctioner and b) they are therefore also the agents of any harm. Models, as I said, do not airbrush themselves, and I'm not sure that the models in beauty magazines make their money off their self-image of perfection, but off the perception controlled by the media rather than themselves. Who has agency? And where does the money go?

  5. The reason why the predominantly female stars do not face the same outrage, Rob, is because they are photoshopped by someone else. Often they are photoshopped in ways that they don’t agree with and actually have very little say over (I recall an incident a few years back in which Kate Winslet was slimmed for a magazine cover, and she publicly rebuked the magazine).

    Someone else is peddling those lies, but in the case of Tiger Woods and others, their own personal choices and actions resulted in the outrage against them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *